As the number of retail pharmacies in France tops 22,500, the sector can no longer escape the demands of merchandising and marketing. And the trend shows no signs of slowing given the 2,200+ pharmacists newly registered with the Ordre des Pharmaciens in the last ten years. In this context, merchandising and marketing provide the answer to a simple question, namely, how do I stand out from the pharmacy opposite to increase my revenue?
Merchandising and digital marketing, what are they exactly?
Inciting to buy, getting your pharmacy and its products noticed, maintaining relationships with customers, etc. are just some of the reasons for turning to merchandising and digital marketing, two vague terms that pharmacies often overlook. And yet to increase your pharmacy’s revenue, it’s essential to use them proactively.
Inciting to buy first means standing out from the competition to make people want to try new products and so increase sales or profitability. Amidst ever-fiercer competition, as well as a much more mobile and fickler customer base, the time when simply displaying products was enough to sell them is long gone. That’s where merchandising steps in to build a brand image and loyal following.
Digital marketing, meanwhile, is undoubtedly the most formidable (and indispensable!) tool for communicating with customers and highlighting promotions or pharmacy news. This means not only attracting but also retaining new business. Content strategy, natural SEO, whitepapers, newsletters, etc. if used correctly and consistently, digital marketing can be a major lever for growing pharmacies’ revenue.
Use merchandising to raise your revenue
Merchandising aims to generate long-term growth for the business by tailoring marketing methods and processes to the pharmacy.
Create a welcoming and appealing atmosphere
It’s essential to always question what customers think when they enter the pharmacy. Several factors then come into play including window display, atmosphere, lighting, ease of access, etc. not forgetting the shelf displays, which should be naturally arranged and spotlessly clean with the right facing to incite customers to buy.
Rethink the store layout and shelf design
Enabling customers to find the product they need quickly and easily, improving their user experience, will encourage secondary sales and significantly increase the average basket. That demands a comprehensive review of the layout plan and reorganization of themed areas.
Work with the seasons
In pharmacies, like elsewhere, customers don’t want the same products in summer as in winter. Marketing data analytics means using previous years’ results and consolidated sales figures to pinpoint the products that “work” for each season and decide which ones to promote. Exploiting Big Data (collected via your customer relationship management or CRM system, for example) or Google Analytics data are also good ways to identify leading products.
Don’t overwhelm the customer
At the opposite end of the scale to non-existent marketing, saturation confuses customers with mixed messages and leaves them with no confidence, giving completely counterproductive results. Be clear and don’t overload your pharmacy with promotional messages or advertising visuals.
Carefully maintain the exterior
A pharmacy’s visual identity is first determined by the exterior, giving customers a lasting first impression. Nothing should be neglected inside or out, i.e., logo, frontage, colours, smartness, etc.
Although these are the main areas for attention, several other factors should be considered when devising an effective merchandising strategy, enabling healthy growth in the pharmacy’s revenue and business volume.
Establish your pharmacy online
Did you know? 73% of customers go online before visiting physical points of sale!
Obviously, a strong online presence for your pharmacy has become essential. But how and in what form?
Create accounts on the main social media, stating your contact details, opening times, any promotions, recommendations, etc. Users will then be able to find your pharmacy on search engines quickly, as well as the essential practical information.
A website is a powerful showcase for your pharmacy’s offerings and expertise, a key pre-sales tool! It can take the form of a simple presentation of the business, products or advice, etc. But you could also provide several innovative services such as electronic prescriptions, online (digitized) sales, appointment booking systems, loyalty schemes and smartphone apps. The huge range of possible services makes it possible to stand out effectively. Get help from digital strategy and local natural SEO experts.
Finally, digital marketing also provides a cost-effective way to communicate with your customers directly and regularly, securing their loyalty. Newsletters, RSS feeds, blogs, etc. there has never been a better time to develop content strategies to increase your visibility and gain potential customers’ interest.
Attract foreign customers
This is another great way to develop your revenue, especially as only a minority of pharmacies really concentrate their efforts on foreign customers despite their large numbers. Whether it’s translating the pharmacy’s website, online services, newsletter or the more usual product presentations and descriptions, pharmaceutical translation is an effective growth lever.
With its specific demands, pharmaceutical translation requires accuracy and precision as well as obvious medical and pharmaceutical knowledge to avoid errors with serious consequences, particularly when it comes to pharmaceutical products. Not forgetting that specialist translation also makes it possible to best localize the content in a foreign language, and give the non-native customer confidence. It’s then essential to call on a professional pharmaceutical translation agency.
In a hyperconnected and ultracompetitive world, where consumer behaviour is constantly changing, including in the medical field, pharmacies need to rise to the merchandising and digital marketing challenge. As well as ensuring credibility and accessibility, specialist pharmaceutical translation is also an excellent source of competitive differentiation and development amongst a foreign clientele that’s able to boost revenue.