In November 2020, Amazon Pharmacy launched in the United States. The announcement, unsurprisingly, saw stock falls for large pharmacies including Walgreens and CVS. While Amazon Pharmacy hasn’t launched in Australia, predictions are: it’s only a matter of time. Amazon Pharmacy is likely to have widespread ramifications in an already competitive landscape.
In the pharmacy landscape it's essential to stand out. Although price, and range of stock are key: convenience and customer awareness are more important than ever.
To drive sales––and stay profitable––pharmacies must keep attracting new customers, and ensure loyalty with the current ones. Pharmacies who focus on marketing their services and products are better equipped to stay afloat. Social media marketing, digital communication, and SMS Activate are useful strategies to attract customers, and keep them coming back.
Without an online presence, it’s difficult for potential customers to discover a store. Social media, therefore, is a must for pharmacies. Just having a Facebook page, however, won’t necessarily be helpful unless it provides useful content. Used correctly, social media is a powerful tool to promote services, products, and other initiatives you offer.
Some ways to promote your pharmacy on social media:
Create informative posts to update customers on pharmacy news
Record a video to answer frequently asked questions
Post graphics to promote store discounts
Share testimonials from loyal customers
Take vaccinations––something many people find nerve wracking. By providing information, customers may feel more confident in booking with your pharmacy. An informative video, created for Facebook, which answers common questions, could help put a patient's mind at ease.
MedAdvisor even provides free templates for pharmacies to post images on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. These prove: there’s no need to be a designer, nor social media expert, to have an online presence.
In order to build a rapport with customers, communication must be front and centre. A customer expects friendly, helpful service in store. By extending that service through personalised digital messaging, customers may favour your pharmacy over others.
Within the PlusOne communication tab, there are a number of options to engage with customers via email, or push notifications. Within the app it’s even possible to create customer groups to target specific people about promotions relevant to them. This targeted messaging is much more likely to convert.
To send effective communications, it’s helpful to personalise messages. I recommend including the customer’s name, and the name of your pharmacy. This ensures the customer feels valued and it's clear who the message is coming from.
Every communication should also have a clear call to action. Ask, ‘what is it I want this customer to do?’ Then ensure the desired action is conveyed in a simple message.
SMS Activate is a simple, and effective, marketing technique to invite customers to join the MedAdvisor app. Customers using MedAdvisor are 97% loyal to their favourite pharmacy. The app also improves medication adherence by 20%. Encouraging signups, then, is a great way to increase customer loyalty.
SMS Activate deploys messages to current customers to encourage sign up to MedAdvisor. For successful conversion, like other messaging, SMS Activate should be well-timed, personalised, and include a call to action. MedAdvisor data shows that messages sent within business hours, specifically in the morning, are the most effective for signups.
In order to use SMS Activate, it’s essential to capture customer’s numbers. Good practice means asking all customers for their mobile number at dispense. Not every customer will say yes, but for those that do, a follow up message should be sent soon after their visit.
Tip: to avoid forgetting new customers, use the MedAdvisor scheduling service to deploy an SMS to new customers either weekly, or monthly. This will save manual work, and ensure all new customers have the opportunity to sign up.
Pharmacists operate in a competitive market. With on-demand services predicted to change the landscape across Australia, marketing for pharmacies is more important than ever. In order to retain customers, and attract new ones, pharmacy promotion is essential. There are a number of ways that pharmacies can stand out amongst the rest. Having a strong social media presence, using well-timed communications, and SMS Activate are just some ways to ensure your pharmacy continues to thrive.