Digitization has become an essential step for the future competitiveness of the pharmacy. Online sales, CRM, and marketing or having an intelligent medical point of care, among the main trends.
The pharmacy has been playing an important role since the pandemic began, facing critical circumstances both from the pharmacy itself and from the pharmaceutical laboratories. The last year has been a turning point in the digital transformation of pharmacies, which have gone from being the point for face-to-face supply to having to adapt to the level of digitization of the consumer, which demanded attention at any time and place, a more efficient service, a personalized experience, and a greater healthcare value. “Consumers look for information on the internet about pharmacies, medicines, or diseases. The pandemic has only accelerated a change that was expected to last for years. And it is that only in 2020, pharmacies have had to adapt and equip themselves with technological tools to reach existing customers and attract new ones, provide them with information, retain them and assist them. And all this has helped to increase their sales ”, a Top Doctors group company specialized in the digital transformation of pharmacies.
Increased use of technology will help you to know your customers better, and unite the value of the physical and digital environment to attract and retain patients
From Top pharma, they take a tour of the trends and advances in the pharmaceutical sector that will help pharmacies to become a digital business in 2021.
1. Online sale via Marketplace or web
The sale of products in pharmacies has become multichannel with the emergence of digitization imposed by COVID19. And it is that this diversification of the sales and distribution channels has helped to keep the businesses running. While the sale of pharmaceutical products at the physical point of sale has fallen by 6% in the last year, especially affecting the sale of healthcare products, which fell by 12%, online sales have grown exponentially and products of pharmacy and parapharmacy have increased their sales by 67% year-on-year. “It is recommended that pharmacies bet on the Internet to reach the customer. This can be done in two ways, either through a marketplace that provides visibility to the products by being a simple formula, but in which they will have to compete by price, which will lead them to sell without margin in the medium term. Or, through its website, but for this second formula to be successful, the pharmacy has to specialize, add pharmaceutical value, achieve visibility and generate a relationship with the client with systematic contacts.
2. Have a CRM and marketing
The digital customer is used to being informed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For this reason, a proactive relationship with the customer must be carried out from the pharmacy. The use of a CRM is important to be able to obtain the greatest possible number of patient data, in such a way that, from the pharmacy, personalized assistance can be given, and therefore increase the added value. These data will also be essential to be able to carry out more effective communication with the client. “It is advisable to bet on digital tools for customer relations, which allow them to add pharmaceutical value, give clear information on products, treatments, and pathologies so that your customer can find out with truthful and accredited information. What’s more, the status of the purchasing process must be reported to the customer in real-time, with clear visibility ”.
3. Presence on a platform
Visibility is one of the main keys to being successful. One of the most effective ways to gain visibility is to have a presence on a pharmacy platform, to reach potential customers in the area where it is located. In this way, it helps to promote the presence of online and offline channels. In addition, it is advisable to allow clients to evaluate the service, so that any current or future user can know the ratios and comments given by clients, after having had a real relationship with the pharmaceutical service. And it is that still today 68% of pharmacies claim not to measure the degree of customer satisfaction, as indicated by the Shoppertec data, and knowing customer feedback is key for business.
4. Smart healthcare point
Pharmacies, as a health-promoting point, must help patients to know their status, and, therefore, offer a complete healthcare vision. For this, it is advisable to have medical information within the pharmacy itself, without having to go to a hospital. Currently, some systems help capture and transmit vital patient data to perform a medical pre-diagnosis anywhere easily and quickly. Or, cabins that allow teleconsultation with a specialist from the pharmacy itself. “Technology provides fundamental information and allows connectivity between doctor-patient-pharmacy that is essential to be able to later advise each client or patient. Know-how and specialization are some of the great trends that will make pharmacies offer more efficient and higher-quality service.
5. Big data
The technology generates a large amount of user and behavioral data that allows pharmacists to improve their work and therefore offer a better patient experience. Thanks to data analysis, pharmacies can multiply their knowledge to carry out more specialized healthcare work, with greater knowledge of the patient, and at the same time carry out more agile and simple management. Knowing the evolution of the main indicators of the pharmaceutical business helps to make decisions based on the statistics of the pharmacy itself through a digitized process. Finally, all these data are essential for further investigation.
6. Increase knowledge of the product and pathology
One of the benefits of digitization is that it increases efficiency in different processes, activities, and tasks. Having more information and data, allows the pharmacist to offer more personalized attention to the client, to dispense the drug offering a greater detail of it, as well as the best advice for a specific case, in a hyperspecialized, truthful and accredited way.
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