May 9, 2019
Inside: Supplement your sales behind the counter with a boost of revenue in front of the counter.
As profit margins for prescriptions continue to shrink, upping your game with non-prescription pharmacy sales is more crucial than ever.
From improving your customer service to expanding your digital presence, there are lots of small moves you can make that will add up to bigger profits.
Here are twenty creative solutions that go beyond slashing prices to boost your front-end sales.
With a welcoming storefront, you’ll attract new customers into your pharmacy. Attractive exteriors make people excited to see the interior.
But you don’t have to break the bank with a remodel of your exterior—small changes might do the trick. Put together window displays that stay fresh or place a chalkboard outside with a witty message.
Getting creative with the items you display together can result in customers seeing items they didn’t know they needed. It’s called cross merchandising, and you can use it to earn additional sales.
Placing batteries next to flashlights reminds customers not to forget them and to buy them even though they weren’t initially on their list.
Try some of these pairings:
Pharmacy revenue is increasingly supplemented by clinical services. Nearly half of Americans over 40 say they would transfer their prescriptions to a pharmacy that provides preventive care services.
Offering health assessments allows you to identify which services will benefit each patient and provides real evidence that your service can help. If insurance doesn’t cover the cost of the service, many patients will pay out of pocket.
If your endcaps have the same products on them month after month, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Change up your displays regularly, and go above and beyond with your presentation.
Don’t place items customers already know they need on displays—instead, show them the things they didn’t know they wanted. Attract their attention with clever signage that captures their attention and makes them stop to really look at the shelves.
Try these creative display ideas:
Once you get customers through the door, the pharmacy should be a pleasant place to shop.
Keeping the space clean and tidy is just the beginning. Choose music that you think your patients will appreciate and make sure it’s loud enough to hear but not so loud that it inhibits conversation.
Find subtle scents like lavender or mint that will put folks in a relaxed state of mind.
Black Friday and Christmas are big for sales, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait around all year to take advantage of the holiday boost.
Run promotions around lesser-known celebrations to feel the holiday cheer all year round to boost non-prescription pharmacy sales. For example, put reading glasses on sale in March, during Save Your Vision Month.
Carve out some time to create your holiday calendar for the year.
Rewards programs are an excellent way to convince patients to come into the store more often and buy more while they’re there.
A good rewards program will have positive reinforcement with regular benefits. It shows patients that if they shop at your pharmacy, good things will come to them.
Make it easy for patients to see how many points they have or how close they are to the next reward, and you’ll encourage them to make more purchases to cross the next threshold.
Tempt patients into purchasing items that aren’t on their shopping list by encouraging impulse buys. Make them an offer they can’t refuse with low priced items within arm’s reach of the check out.
You can also shelve small toys or candies closer to the ground, at children’s eye level, so your patients’ kids can make the hard sell for you.
If you’re overthinking shelving displays on your front end, you can hand that responsibility over to the experts by using planograms.
Planograms, put together by companies like Hamacher Resource Group, make shelving into science. The visuals show exactly where each product should be placed on the shelves in order to maximize their sales.
According to a RetailMeNot report, 28 percent of shoppers are more likely to spend more money when a retailer offers a percentage off their total. Seventeen percent will spend more when retailers offer deals on specific products. That means you can increase the average spend per customer even if you’re charging less per item.
Use these strategies to increase non-prescription pharmacy sales with discounts:
Having a staff well-versed in your products leads to another opportunity: the upsell.
If a patient trusts the associate, it will be easy to convince them that a more expensive product will serve them better than the other, less-expensive product they came in for.
A good upsell will address the patients’ needs and make them feel like the pharmacy cares about their wellbeing.
Different people have different shopping behaviors.
Learning the differences among all types of shoppers enables you to:
Before patients even arrive at your pharmacy, you can start making your case with a polished and professional website.
A study by Google showed that three quarters of people searched a store online before deciding to visit in person, so having a modern web presence is a must.
Referrals are the most effective form of marketing. So, getting current patients to refer your pharmacy is guaranteed to boost non-prescription pharmacy sales.
Ways to encourage referrals:
Learn more: 10 Easy Ways to Increase Patient Referrals
Pay attention to the non-prescription pharmacy items that seem to fly off the shelves. Once you’ve identified these bestsellers, make sure they’re never out of stock.
If patients are consistently coming into the pharmacy for baby wipes and they find the shelf empty one day, they’ll start buying them somewhere else. Keep your customers loyal by never running out of the things they need.
Keeping up with pop culture can pay off. With your finger on the pulse of things going on outside the world of pharmacy, you can take advantage of the moment.
This can mean stocking low-cost items that have big demand—think fidget spinners or Silly Bandz. One independent pharmacy capitalized on the fidget spinner craze, selling out its first order within a couple hours. The pharmacy ultimately earned thousands from the spinners at 50 percent profit and gained new patients through the increased traffic.
You can also use the items you already stock. For example, put together a display of snacks for a Game of Thrones watch party, a show currently watched by more than 17 million Americans.
Learn more: 5 Consumer Trends Your Pharmacy Should Know
Advertising is essential to growing any business. If people don’t know about you, how will they visit you?
Advertising lets people know about upcoming promotions, but it also increases recognition of your name and brand. Bolstering your reputation within your community through advertising will have a positive effect for the long term as well as the short term.
Learn more: 5 Secrets to Advertise Your Pharmacy Like a Pro
Facebook is one of the cheapest ways to advertise, but you don’t need to spend money to raise your pharmacy’s online profile.
Make sure you have accounts on prominent social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. By posting frequently and interacting with followers, you’ll stay in the back of people’s minds and make them more likely to visit your store in the future.
Partner with a non-competing local business or organization to host an event in your pharmacy that will bring in new customers.
Reach out to local doctors to provide free health screening in your pharmacy. This will foster goodwill among your neighborhood and expose potential new patients to your pharmacy.
Learn more: How to Prepare & Plan for a Pharmacy Event
Methods to improve your non-prescription pharmacy sales might be hiding in plain sight, within your POS system.
Inventory management features can ensure products are never out of stock. And by automating some of the more menial parts of your business, you’ll have more time to focus on the customer.
PBA Health is dedicated to helping independent pharmacies reach their full potential on the buy side of their business. The company is a member-owned organization that serves independent pharmacies with group purchasing services, expert contract negotiations, proprietary purchasing tools, distribution services, and more.
PBA Health, an HDA member, operates its own VAWD-certified warehouse with more than 6,000 SKUs, including brands, generics, narcotics CII-CV, cold-storage products, and over-the-counter (OTC) products.
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