how to setup a successful pharmacy ecommerce website
A successful eCommerce website massively expands your customer base and increases spend from your existing customer base. How? By putting you in front of their faces when they’re ready to buy.

Online sales rise continually year on year, but if you don’t have a pharmacy eCommerce website, you won’t see a penny of it.

ecommerce sales as a percentage of total retail sales

The components of a successful Pharmacy eCommerce Website

This article is a recipe for sweet success when it comes to eCommerce. But what are the key ingredients you need for the delicious end result?

  • Information-rich product pages/descriptions
  • Simple (and secure!) checkout process
  • A good eCommerce platform
  • Customised design for your specific business
  • Intuitive and convenient categorisation & navigation around the online shop
  • A mobile-responsive version of the site.
  • SEO

Before we start putting the pieces together for a successful site, let’s first take a step back and look at the big picture. (That’s what my mum always told me to do with jigsaws.)

How Pharmacy eCommerce works

Pharmacy eCommerce is about taking your pharmacy business online. Not just the marketing, but the actual sales themselves. We’re not talking about just booking services anymore, but setting up a full online store with products, payments, and postage.

For your customers, this means they can buy from you without ever leaving their homes. Super convenient.

For you, this means expanding your business beyond the previous geographical limits. Check the case study below for an example of what success looks like with a pharmacy eCommerce website!

The present and future of eCommerce

In 5 years’ time, you’ll wear a pair of glasses that connect to your temples. When you think about something you need, the glasses bring up an option to order it straight away from the most relevant supplier.

Ok, I made that up. But only to prove a point. Because that’s essentially how Google works already. And increasingly, how audio works. Let me explain. If you already know how Google and smart devices work, skip the next two headings.

eCommerce on Home Voice Devices

This is how easy ordering products online with smart household devices is.

  1. Start an order, say something like “Ok Google, buy Ibuprofen.”
  2. Google reads off the top search results and asks for confirmation.
  3. Say “Yes” to order, or “No” to get the next search result.
Smart Home Devices can be used for shopping online

Smart Home Devices are increasingly used across modern households.

Depending on your device, you can also specify a preference for a specific company. Simply say “Buy Ibuprofen from JP Pharmacy” to only get results from your favourite shop. Already bought an item? You can say “reorder Ibuprofen” to place the same order again, which should default to the same place you bought it from.

Recognising convenience as the biggest strength of eCommerce, you see how this process could be used to capture and lock down repeat business.

Pharmacy eCommerce websites on Google

We’ve talked many times about how when people need something and they don’t know where to get it, Google is where they go. And so ranking highly on Google is critical to any eCommerce strategy. I won’t go into too much detail here, but if you want to understand why ranking on Google is so important to your strategy, read this pharmacy guide to winning Google.
The additional element you need for eCommerce is optimising those product pages. Pertinent information and relevant product descriptions helps Google index your site, as well as giving a great shopping experience. The combination of those two means you’ll rank well on Google and will reap the profits as a result.

Creating a successful Pharmacy eCommerce website

Now we understand how they work, it’s time to follow our recipe for creating that successful Pharmacy eCommerce website.

Firstly, select the right platform

We use WooCommerce, because of its seamless integration into WordPress sites. What this means is the complete functionality of WordPress with your shop.

Why is that good?

Glad you asked. Just for absolute clarity – an eCommerce platform is not the same as a website. So, using WooCommerce (eCommerce platform) because it works well with WordPress, means you can create an entire website with eCommerce, rather than just one or the other.

Next, Customise your Website

This is important for your shoppers and your pharmacy business too. Once we’ve got our platform, it’s time to think about how it appears online. Customising its appearance and structure makes a massive difference.

For happy customers

Your online shop should be as distinguished an experience as shopping in your pharmacy. That’s not to say it’s the same level of experience. But just as you’d hope to give someone a better experience than your competition, you should strive to deliver a better experience than your competition.

For an efficient pharmacy business

Customising your website for the way you work is another cornerstone for success. Because the website is only the front of the business, like a physical pharmacy building. It still requires work behind the scenes to deliver on the orders.  Understanding how you operate and incorporating that into the website is critical.

On the customer side, it ensures excellent service. From your side, it prevents administrative workload issues. Further than that, the right website design brings a level of automation that improves the profitability of your overall business.

There are also different models and focuses of pharmacies now. Customising a website with these focuses in mind is important. The difference between success and irrelevance can be fine margins. The devil is often in the details.

See that in action as we build an eCommerce solution for an Aesthetics pharmacy in the case study below.

Website Design

Now it’s time to think about presentation. The eCommerce platform was the skeleton, your customised website is the muscles, now it’s time to put the skin on and make the whole thing look pretty.

Interactive and responsive design, including contemporary look-and-feel, good usability and high-quality graphics is the pinnacle.

If people don’t feel like your website is up-to-date, it won’t inspire confidence that your products or services are. I’ve seen websites look so dated, I didn’t buy from them in case it was a business that didn’t even trade anymore. I wouldn’t want my money going somewhere unless I’m sure I’m going to get the product.

Cultivating the intuitive navigation and layout

Presumably you put thought into the layout of your pharmacy. Where products go, what signs you use for different sections, like Prescriptions, Skincare etc. More recently you’ve implemented one-way systems and social distancing stickers on the floors.

This all needs doing for your online shop. Don’t forget the number one reason people are shopping online in the first place – convenience. Making your website as easy as possible to find both the products that people are visiting specifically to buy, as well as recommending similar or alternative products mirrors the journey they’d experience in your pharmacy.

Creating a product ecosystem with integrated SEO

Product ecosystems are simply products that interlink with each other in some way. Think Apple’s iPhone, Airpods, and Apple Watches. If you have one, chances are you’ll want the others.
Product ecosystems help both the buying journey and the Google ranking, so it’s a must for any pharmacy eCommerce website. Linking optimised content with relevant, optimised product pages sounds technical, but it’s really simple in concept.

All it means, translated into simple terms, is that you’re combining the information and advice with your product, as well as linking relevant products. Buying throat numbing spray? You might also be interested in Vapour Rub, Lemsip, and Lozenges.

Including a “How-to-use” guide (or similar) with your product not only helps people to find you on Google, but also instills confidence in the purchase at the moment of decision-making.

Having the relevant information on your product pages boosts your Google rankings too, the same way blog articles and other web pages rank higher with well-organised and relevant information.

Safe & Simple Checkout Process

Picture it.

You pop into the supermarket and pick up a carton of juice for the morning. You get to the checkouts and it’s like Christmas Eve, every checkout has at least three packed trolleys. Do you wait half an hour to buy that juice? Of course you don’t. Because you don’t have the time.

So you leave. You head to a corner shop and pick up juice there. The woman behind the counter says they only accept credit cards. She pulls out a machine that doesn’t look anything like a normal card machine. She says she’ll need to take a photo of your card for security and your signature. Again, you put down the juice and say it’s ok, you’ll go somewhere else.

These are parallels by people’s experiences when giving up online. Even if the website was modern enough to attract the customer and simple enough for them to quickly find what they needed. If the checkout process isn’t simple and secure, you lose customers.

Bear this in mind when selecting an online payment gateway for your pharmacy.

Mobile-responsiveness is now Mobile-First

Once upon a time, optimising for mobile might have been the icing on the cake. Now it’s the self-raising flour. Without it, your website will fall flat. Google recently changed its algorithm, which is the system it uses to analyse and rank websites. Now, your site is judged on the experience it gives to mobile users. This is MASSIVE.

“If it’s your intention that the mobile version has less content than the desktop version, your site may lose some traffic when Google enables mobile-first indexing for your site, since Google won’t be able to get the full information anymore.” – developers.google.com

Why this is important is that you could previously heap tonnes of information onto the desktop version of your site, be judged on that, whilst your stripped-back, simplified mobile version would cruise off the success of your desktop site.

Now, that isn’t the case. This makes it slightly more difficult to strike the balance between informative content and sleek design. You want the information there, but you want to avoid the dreaded “wall of text” that puts off so many users from websites.

Necessary, but desirable

Whilst the Google update now makes Mobile-Friendly websites imperative, the number of mobile users shopping online should be the real incentive.

That one word again. Convenience. If there’s one thing you take away from this article, make it that convenience rules supreme online.

Of course, there is another way…

Just like a recipe, you can take this, and use it to create your own dish. (Though you’d need the technical know-how on top.)

Or, if you’d prefer, the Pharmacy Mentor MasterChefs can whip up a mouth-watering eCommerce solution for your pharmacy. We work with you, understand exactly what it is you need, and produce it. Just like we’ve done countless times for other community pharmacies.

5 reasons to use digital adverts
Advertising always has one goal – getting eyeballs on your offering. But Digital Advertising has some distinct advantages over traditional advertising. Read on for 5 ways digital beats traditional when advertising your pharmacy.

5 reasons to use digital advertising over traditional advertising

Before we begin, it’s worth defining exactly what we mean by both Digital & Traditional Advertising for pharmacy.

  • Digital advertising never leaves a computer network. The adverts get distributed online through platforms such as social media, search engines and websites.
  • Traditional advertising is delivered offline to the real world. You find real-world advertising in any space people look, from the sides of bins and buses to billboards, box offices, and buildings. Of course, there are adverts in the media, too. TV, Radio, newspapers, and magazines traditionally offered exposure on an unrivalled scale before digital advertising came around.

5 ways Digital Advertising for Pharmacy is better than offline adverts

1. Analytics

Traditional Issue

Let’s take a fairly common example. You advertise in a local magazine. It might look glamorous. It might be the best-written ad ever. The problem is, there’s no way of measuring exactly what impact your advertising campaign had on your revenue. Marketing is all about trial and error. Measuring what works and what doesn’t. Knowing when to hold and when to fold.

Sure, you might notice an increase in sign-ups or sales alongside a magazine or a newspaper advert, and you can roughly approximate it to the ad. But when you then run a different campaign and it doesn’t seem to have the same impact, you can’t easily compare the two. Did people just not see the ad? Or did they see it and not feel compelled to act? With traditional forms of advertising, there’s no way of knowing.

Why Digital Works Better

Digital Advertising records and tracks everything. How many people saw the ad? How many people clicked on it? It keeps all your work from all your campaigns. You can run A/B campaigns, where you run two different ads alongside each other and the best performing ad gets displayed more.

2. Interactivity

Traditional Issue

You see an ad in a magazine for a product you like or a service you think would be useful. But you’re reading a magazine. You turn over the page. The ad is gone, never to be seen again. You’re relying on people remembering the ad the next time

I’ve talked before about making it easy for people to buy from you. Advertising offline does the opposite of that.

Here are the two journeys.

Offline Ad

1. See ad.

2. Stop what you\’re doing to get your phone out.

3. See several notifications on your phone and explore what they are.

4. Forget why you got your phone out, put it away.

5. Look back at the magazine, and remember.

6. Get your phone back out again, (if you have data/signal) and search for the pharmacy.

7. Navigate the pharmacy website until you find the product or service you were interested in.

8. Hope it\’s easy to book/buy. (if it isn\’t easy, get bored and give up.)

9. Buy/book.

Online Ad

1. See ad in whatever platform you were using, e.g., Facebook.

2. Click ad and be taken straight to the relevant product/service.

3. Buy/book.

Out of those two columns, it’s easy to see which journey has a higher chance of converting someone into a customer. With today’s attention span, any extra steps in the buying process are just another opportunity for a distraction.

This isn’t the only way interactivity helps, but it’s certainly something that impacts the ROI on your ad budget.

Ads on Facebook, for example, present opportunities for conversation with you and allows questions about the ad they’ve just seen. You can’t quickly send someone a WhatsApp if you see an ad in the newspaper. With digital advertising, there’s often the opportunity to get in touch straight away.

3. Flexibility & Control

Traditional Issue

Now, this point isn’t applicable to every campaign you’ll run, but it is always a risk. If you spend £1,000 on printing leaflets and then realise there’s a GLARING spelling error, guess who’s paying to get them all re-printed?

This same risk applies across most traditional platforms. You have to supply the finalised design/advert ready for a deadline to print or air, and after that, you’ve no control.

Why Digital Works

Made a catastrophic error on your advert? How about just logging back in, rectifying the problem, and continuing your advert? No extra cost, no fuss. Bullet dodged.

4. Value

Traditional Issue

As you’ve seen, there are lots of measures of whether one form of advertising is better than another. But the one most people care about, is cost. How much will it cost me to show this ad to someone?

Well, it costs far, far less to reach 1,000 people using social media than it does through any other form of advertising. (socialaxcessconsulting.com)

Not only that but there’s generally a minimum cost to entry with traditional advertising. I’ve seen local magazines quoting small businesses £500 for a half-page ad. You could feasibly drop that same amount on a Facebook ad. But you’d guarantee people are actually seeing your ad through Facebook. Why? You see the stats.

In 2021, advertisers had to pay an average of 5.6 million U.S. dollars to air a 30-second long commercial during the Super Bowl LV broadcast

Why Digital Works

With digital advertising, there are numerous benefits when it comes to pricing.

Google Ads for instance, only charge you when people click on your ad. This means you can essentially trial whether or not there is demand for your service through Google. If people aren’t interested in your ad, you don’t pay for it. Google also gives you an insight into what your competitor’s budgets are for advertising similar things. (Learn more about Google Ads for Pharmacies here)

Facebook lets you choose how you get charged. Whether that’s the number of people who see your ad, when people like your page, or click on your link. This level of customisation is a welcome addition for people who want more control over their ad spend.

5. Smart Audience Targeting

Traditional Issue

You spend £10k to have an advert on a billboard in a popular location. You’re sold on the fact that it’s seen by 50k people. But how many of those 50k people are your target market? You end up paying over the odds for irrelevant people to view your ads.

Why Digital Works

With the vast majority of digital platforms you can advertise on, you can specify your ideal audience. Advertising NHS flu vaccines? You want to make sure you’re targeting people who are 65+. Advertising a Period Delay service? Obviously, men don’t need that service.

Remember, no matter how you want to advertise your pharmacy, we can help.

We have no bias towards digital or traditional marketing. Our bias is delivering results that help build your pharmacy’s future. In a strategy bespoke to you and your pharmacy business, we recommend the best tactics available to get you there. No matter what those tactics are.

SEO for Pharmacy
In our recent article, Blogging for Pharmacies: The Industry Missing the Gold Rush, we explored the power of online content. In this article, we’re exploring getting that content in front of people. One of the most effective ways of doing that is optimising your content for search engines like Google.

Before we begin, check out these stats demonstrating the importance of using SEO to get your pharmacy seen on Google.

  • The #1 position on Google gets 32% of all clicks. (Backlinko.com)
  • The top 3 Google search results get 75.1% of all clicks. (Backlinko.com)

seo guide for pharmacy

What is SEO, and what does it do?

What is SEO?

A search engine like Google has a checklist so that the web pages it recommends give a great user experience. The search engine recommends pages based on how well they score on that checklist. Put simply, Search Engine Optimisation is the process of making a web page more likely to be ranked higher by scoring well on that checklist.

Going through all the trouble of creating a website and filling it with content, only for nobody visiting the site sounds like a pointless exercise. Unless you deploy SEO as part of your digital strategy, I imagine this is your experience of having a website.

But you wouldn’t be alone. This is what the majority of the Internet looks like. Especially for pharmacy websites.

90.63% of all pages get zero traffic from Google. 5.29% of them get ten visits per month or less. (ahrefs.com)

What does SEO do?

Pharmacy owners we speak to about websites typically all have the same, templated website with little to no functionality. If you bought a $50 Rolex watch, would you be surprised if it stopped working after a month? You get what you pay for. And it’s the same with websites.

Buying a website “because you think you should”, with no plan for what it does or how it works? You’ll opt for the cheapest option. And why wouldn’t you? You have no idea what you want the website to achieve. Bearing no other factors in mind other than “having a website”, you choose the cheapest route to goal.

Ok, so you have a website. Now what? The only time it shows up is when people are searching for your pharmacy by name. Which is something, at least. It’s better than it showing someone else. But these people searching for you by name are already your customers. Your website isn’t attracting new visitors. And that’s the whole purpose of SEO. Attracting new business.

On-Page SEO vs Off-Page SEO

SEO can get incredibly complicated, incredibly fast. And you’re a business owner, not a marketer. You don’t care about those complexities. Let’s explain so you can see the big picture without needing any fine print.

Think of Google as a Visitor Information Centre for the town/city you’re in. When a person searches on Google, it’s just like asking the guide behind the information desk a question.

Such questions might be:

  • “Where can I find the nearest pharmacy”
  • “How to safely get rid of earwax”
  • “Where can I get a travel vaccination?”

For the guide to recommend you, they must know about the thing you want referrals for. It’s a bit like rules in a game. They’ll only recommend you for the things you’ve told them about.

You’re not the only player in the search engine game

Now, you’re not the only one who wants recommendations from the guide. Everyone in town wants visitors. So the guide uses a system. Everyone must create content they think will help the guide solve people’s problems.

Let’s use books as a substitute for websites, to highlight the point. You want to promote your Ear Wax Removal service. So you write a book called “How to remove ear wax safely – A Pharmacist’s Guide.” Over the road, an Ear Wax Clinic has written a book called “Ear Wax Removals – Book Appointments Now”. And on the other side of town, another pharmacy has written a book called “Cheap Ear Wax Removal.”

The guide reads these books and, based on how easy it was to read, how helpful it thinks the book is, and how much information the book had in, the guide ranks your book against the other books that other businesses have given it. This is on-page SEO.

So how do the rankings work?

Imagine you are the guide.

Which one would you recommend to people? It depends, right? If they’ve asked for “Cheap Ear Wax Removal”, on the title of the book alone, you’d recommend in this order:

  1. Cheap Ear Wax Removal book
  2. Ear Wax Removals – Book Appointments
  3. How to remove ear wax safely – A Pharmacist’s Guide

That being said, SEO is not determined by the title alone. This order could be different if the content in the second options was optimised for that search term. There are also other factors that could change these positions around, such as cookies and your location. You see, it’s tricky!

If they asked the guide How to safely remove Ear Wax, you’d likely recommend the complete opposite order.

Titles that contain a question get 14.1% more clicks vs. titles that don’t. (Backlinko.com) Why? Because most people have a question in their mind when they search online. Seeing the question they’re asking inspires confidence they’ll find the answer that applies to them.

Bear in mind, you’re not the only guide in town. Ultimately, if people don’t think your recommendations are any good, they’ll use another guide.

google vs bing meme

Search Engines monitor visitor’s behaviour

The Google guide recommends your content based on its own initial impression, but it absolutely takes user feedback on board. If it recommends your book, and someone immediately comes back and says they want a different book, it pays attention. If enough people do that, it stops recommending your book as highly. Its sole purpose is to help people solve their problems. If your book isn’t helping people, it will stop recommending you.

Now, the more content you create, the more you can be recommended by the Google guide for different keywords. Keywords are essentially the subjects your books cover. It’ll often be in the title. Using our previous example, “ear wax removal” was the key phrase you were targeting. Keywords let the guide know what you want the book to be judged on and recommended for.

But remember, the critical part of creating this content is the guide recommending you in the first place. The guide has learned over time what people like to see. So if you don’t meet these expectations, you won’t be recommended at all. There’s no point in spending the time writing the book if the guide thinks it’s rubbish and won’t ever recommend it to anyone. And the opposite is true, the more they recommend the content, the more worth your time it is.

Now is the time to use SEO to get your pharmacy on the first page of Google

At the time of writing, May 19th 2021, there really isn’t a lot of competition either. So it’s an incredibly effective use of your time, as there aren’t many people competing with you for the highest recommendations.

Of course, the guide is a little bit crafty. You can also just pay it to put you at the top of the ranking, using Google Ads. It tells people that you’ve paid for that recommendation, but it still recommends you before anyone who hasn’t paid it. It’s not exactly the cleanest process, but that’s how it makes its money.

search engine results page on Google for morning after pill near me

You can see the Ads dominate the top of the page. But a high percentage of online traffic goes to the organic results rather than clicking on Ads.

Off-page SEO – How that influences your recommendations

If on-page SEO is writing the book that Google recommends to people, off-page SEO is all the hype that book gets from other people.

  • Do other people reference your book in their books? (Links from other websites to your page.)
  • Is your book being read a lot without Google recommending it? (This is you sharing your content through social media and emails)
  • Do your own books reference this book? (Does the homepage of your website have a link to this page? If you don’t consider it super-important, why should Google?)

It’s important not to neglect your off-page SEO. Here’s a simple reason why:

You want Google to think your website is great, right? Think about a book again. If someone handed you a book they wrote and told you it was great, you might read it and make your own mind up. If it’s #1 on the NY Times Bestseller List, is multiple award-winning, and sold millions of copies, you’re going to assume that the book is of good quality before you’ve even read it.

The same’s true for your website. The more that external sources direct people towards it, the better Google presumes the content from your site is and the more credit it gives you.

What can I do to get better off-page SEO?

That is a big, big topic. You can check out The Ultimate Guide to Off-Page SEO by Neil Patel, if only to demonstrate an example of off-page SEO in action. Neil Patel writes these helpful articles, and folks like me use them in situations like this. The more this happens, the more Google loves his site. And they do.

How does using SEO for your pharmacy help your business?

  1. New Business from an active market.

    People who are in the active market know they have a problem and need a solution. (They usually know what the solution is too.) Their search terms might be “rehydration sachets”. Writing content for this market can see immediate returns and lets people know where they can find you to give you money to solve their problem. They have a problem, they find your solution.

  2. Activating a dormant market.

    The dormant market often doesn’t know what their problem is yet, so they Google the symptoms of their problem. To continue the example, they search “how to cure a hangover”. They’re not sure of what their problem is yet (they’re dehydrated) but writing content like “10 ways to cure a hangover” reaches this market. One of the 10 ways could mention rehydration sachets, “…which you can get at our pharmacy”. Someone wasn’t looking for your product, but they’ve found it. That concludes my lecture ‘Activating a Dormant Market 101’.

  3. Brand Awareness.

    Especially for pharmacies, we’re in a transitionary period where public awareness still isn’t there for the services you offer. Sending people to your website to solve their current problems also gives you the opportunity to show them all the other things you offer. Someone comes to your website for a travel vaccine and sees you also offer lip fillers. They find you for one thing and are made aware of another. The more you can be discovered in any area, the better. Web traffic just has the benefit of being large volume, especially when you are ranked highly on the Search Engines Results Page for a common search. The numbers that a website with proper SEO delivers can’t be beaten for the investment.

What about Technical SEO?

Technical SEO has been left until last deliberately. It’s actually more important than ever. But it is a bit boring.

Search engines not only measure how good your on-page content is to rank you, but they also measure all the technical aspects of your website and content and compare it to best-practice. Because performance matters to user experience.

Think of on-page SEO as how a car looks, and off-page SEO as how a car runs. Someone might excitedly climb behind the wheel of a Lamborghini, but if it runs like an Austin Metro, they’ll quickly get out again.

For example, pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%, while pages that load in five seconds see their bounce rates skyrocket to 38%. (“Bounce” means visitors exit the page without interacting with it.) Below is an excerpt from a tweet from Google’s John Mueller.

I can tell you as someone whose focus is on-page SEO, Technical SEO is not something you want to get bogged down with. Unless you know what you’re doing, it is a long and painful headache. Getting your site built and managed by professionals is the easiest way to get rid of that headache.

So what now?

Hopefully, that’s given you a clear view of SEO and its importance. Do your own marketing? Please, please implement SEO into what you do. Outsource your marketing? You now understand its importance in the work that either we, or anyone else does for you. If an agency doesn’t offer satisfactory answers or results with SEO, it’s worth questioning why not. SEO isn’t ever a guarantee, but if your SEO isn’t delivering, you at least want a guarantee that making it better is a focus.

pharmacy blogging
Most people think of blogging as something casual. Teenagers journaling, hobbyists documenting, commentators gossiping. But blogs fill the internet with content people want to read. It’s the Internet’s newspaper. Getting on the front page is simple for pharmacies…because barely anyone in community pharmacy uses their website’s blog.

pharmacy blog on a laptop

Why is a pharmacy blog so important?

Understanding why a pharmacy blog is important first means understanding what “blog” even means. The word blog derives from “weblog“, as in, logging the web. The internet is just information that is all connected on a big network. Web-logging, or blogging, is the process of adding information to the internet.

So, blogging is literally creating informative resources for people to access on the internet. Understanding that concept is key. Because that’s what people use the internet for. Looking up the meaning of a word. Finding out why they have a headache. Discovering the best Chinese takeaway near their house. All of it is accessing data and information that someone else has logged.

And that’s important. You can’t access information that isn’t there.

And so we reach our bombshell…pharmacies are not blogging.

That means people are looking for information and either not finding it, or finding it from another source.

What should a Pharmacy blog about?

Another article we shared, Stuck for Pharmacy Blog Posts? These 14 will last forever is great for continually adding new informational content to your site (which Search Engines like Google love, as it shows them they aren’t sending people to a dead website.)

But start with the basics. Do you offer a UTI service? How about writing a blog entitled, “Trimethoprim Treatments in South Manchester – No Appointment Necessary” or “Need UTI treatment in South Manchester? Antibiotics available.”

Now the next time I Google “UTI treatment near me” (see above video), I won’t find Walgreens and have to travel to the U.S. to get treatment. I’ll find my local pharmacy and nip down the road. And that pharmacy will generate revenue, simply by appearing online.

For a closer look at blogging in action, check out this case study, where Reach Pharmacy created blogs for their flu vaccine service.

stuck for pharmacy blog posts

How should you blog?

  1. Don’t sell, help.

    Unless someone Googles “sales pitch”, they don’t want to read one. Don’t tell them how great your service is. Highlight symptoms to be mindful of, causes of health problems, and recommend courses of action. Using Aesthetics Clinics as an example. Blog about “How often should you get lip fillers?” and write a helpful guide on how often to get fillers, the best fillers to use, and how to spot clinicians to avoid.

  2. Write for the reader. Talk about them, not you.

    Remember that people are looking for answers and advice online. The temptation as a business when marketing is solely focusing on your business; talking about your service, promoting yourselves as service providers. But don’t forget there’s a person with a problem reading your post. Address their concerns and pain points. Let them know you understand their problem, and it won’t take too much convincing that you’re the one who can solve it.

  3. End with a Call-to-Action

    Done properly, the information you convey through your pharmacy blog demonstrates that your service solves the reader’s problem. So, you don’t need essays about your service. But you should prompt action.

    Tell people what their next step is. Whether that’s contacting the pharmacy or booking an appointment online, give people signposts. Keep it simple.

  4. Optimise

    Would you bother writing a book if no one was ever going to read it? Optimising your blog for search engines means it reaches as many of the people you’re targeting as possible. If you’re bothering writing a blog, optimising it makes it worth your time. Learn more about on-page optimisation here.

When should you blog?

Let’s revisit the title of this article because it wasn’t just sensationalism. The answer to “When should you blog?” is, in the first instance, before everyone else does. In our next article, we’ll explore Search Engine Optimisation in much greater depth. But for now, I’ll draw up a really simple analogy for you. The reason that pharmacies are missing the gold rush, is because the gold is all on Page 1 of Google. And just like the Gold Rush, you must claim the land before you mine the gold.

It is possible to get on Page 1 when there is a lot of competition for the places. But just like buying land instead of claiming land, it costs you more money and it’s a longer process.

And right now, there’s so much land to claim (depending on your geographical location.)

Does it make a difference when I blog in the calendar year?

Unless you’re an online pharmacy or DSP, it matters that the traffic your blog post attracts drives relevant traffic to your site. It’s hard to know precisely how Google works (because they don’t ever disclose the algorithm), but in simple terms, your blog gets ranked on Google depending on user experience. If the first 100 visitors to your blog find it useful and relevant, spend time on it and then stay on your website, Google sees your blog as valuable content and ranks it higher. If the first 100 people all immediately click back off your website, Google thinks you aren’t meeting user needs and won’t recommend that post very highly.

Of course, your rankings can change over time, but the launch of your blog is impactful, and getting off to a good start never hurts. We use a Blogging Content Calendar as a guide to creating blogs in line with when they trend on Google. Writing a blog in March about the Winter Flu Jab vaccine, for instance, is not ideal. (Unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere!)

What do I need to get started?

Whilst the ideal framework for a blog is a complete online ecosystem – think social media, a booking calendar, a payment gateway, all you really need to start your pharmacy blog is your own website. Once you have a site, you can publish whatever content you like. But as discussed, unless you have a good grasp of SEO, a DIY effort won’t be as effective as it could be.

For the ROI, whether you’re measuring in time or money, our blogging strategies for pharmacy is an extremely accessible service that can transform your business.

Want to make the most of your pharmacy blog? Talk to us about how we can help you get set up.

Increasing EPS Nominations

About

A small chain pharmacy located in Scotland that we have been working with since October 2021. They are a long-standing brand within their communities.

Challenges

The pharmacies operate a free delivery and collection service. However, they have failed to attract new patients to the pharmacy and have come to us for help. The pharmacies had just gone through a refit and installed robotics systems to streamline and automate prescription dispensing and collection. They wanted to attract new customers. They adopted our Codeine Marketing Pack.

Solutions

Pharmacy Mentor creates and executes a targeted marketing and development strategy consisting of:

  • The build of an optimised landing page for EPS conversions
  • Organic social media advertising
  • Paid social advertising and analysis

Results

The pharmacy owner budgeted £500 per month on paid social and we’ve been generating between 50 and 100 patient signups per month for the last 6 months. Let’s say your average patient has three items on their monthly prescription and you make £20 per month from that patient in profit. With 100 new patients, you’re looking at £2000 per month in extra profit, equating to £24,000 per year. And the more patients you sign up, and the bigger following you have on social, the more valuable your business becomes.

If you’re looking for help in marketing your services better and building on your online presence, then please get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to help.

About

A small chain pharmacy located in the Midlands that we have been working with since January 2020.

Challenges

The pharmacy operates a travel clinic, accompanied with PCR Testing and wanted a solution to bring their entire operations online to cater for our digital behaviour and make things more convenient for them and the patient. The pharmacy owners needed a way of reducing their operational overhead and saving them time.

Solutions

Pharmacy Mentor creates and executes a bespoke development and marketing plan encompassing the following:

  • Fully optimised Travel Clinic Website
  • Highly-targeted service content via pages and blogs
  • Built an online booking calendar and connected a payment system
  • Housed the best selling travel items on a fully comprehensive online shop (built into the travel website)
  • Automated the delivery of specific items from the warehouse via a custom-built API
  • Delivery of Google Ads
  • Link-building

Results

In the month of April 2021, we recorded the highest month of sales through the website, totalling over £220,000. Although this is the highest recorded, on average, the pharmacy is now making around £70,000 a month from their Travel Clinic alone. The total spend on this project thus far has equated to less than £10,000.

Pharmacy e-commerce websites

If you’re looking for help in marketing your services better and building on your online presence, then please get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to help.

Moving towards a modern healthcare hub, service-focused model of pharmacy, setting up an Aesthetics Clinics in your pharmacy makes perfect sense. It’s a business that can completely stand on its own, being a high-end luxury service rather than the lower-end necessities.

aesthetics clinics in pharmacy

Why should you set up an Aesthetics Clinic in your pharmacy?

  1. They’re incredibly profitable. Successfully run, an aesthetics clinic can be more profitable than a pharmacy.
  2. See number 1.

No, but seriously, there are many reasons to set up an aesthetics clinic. Perhaps you enjoy doing it. Perhaps you believe the industry practice could be improved with more highly qualified clinicians. But, if done well, (which we’ll cover below) it will make you lots of money and as a business, that’s a real consideration. And as a healthcare institution, you’ve already got a great awareness of the medical side of the business. Because ultimately, although it is a luxury boutique, it’s founded in healthcare.

The problem is, a lucrative business comes with lots of competition. Who doesn’t want to make lots of money? But…

Pharmacies are perfectly placed to deliver Aesthetics Clinics as a trustworthy healthcare institution

Luxury customer experience is idealised by the people seeking these treatments, but ultimately their health is their main priority. They want 100% confidence their procedure will go well. Whilst levels of qualification are required to perform these cosmetic treatments, a pharmacist’s experience and qualifications stand head and shoulders above people whose only medical qualifications are the cosmetic ones.

Being at the heart of your local community also offers the convenience of proximity for a service where a lot of patients want repeat services every few months. Most pharmacies have a consultation space, allowing procedures to be conducted privately and comfortably. Your Consultation room may not offer the luxury feel of other Aesthetic clinics. A great experience is often the difference between a one-time customer and a repeat customer. It might be worth investing in a facelift for your consultation room as a facility.

aesthetics clinic in a consultation room

How’s your consultation room game?

Why shouldn’t you set up an Aesthetics Clinic in your pharmacy?

 

It’s easy to get swept away in the idea of making lots of money, but Aesthetics Clinics are a big commitment and shouldn’t be undertaken without being properly thought through. Here are 3 reasons you shouldn’t set up an Aesthetics Clinic.

  1. Aesthetics is, perhaps unsurprisingly, utilised by people who place a lot of emphasis on looks and a luxury experience.

    If your pharmacy doesn’t look modern, this could hamstring any efforts to attract people to your clinic. If your consultation room isn’t up to scratch, again this will dent your appearance as “high-end.” People won’t spend a lot of money somewhere they don’t perceive to be high-end. Your medical and clinical experience is already high-end compared to most cosmetic clinicians. But your experience needs to match to make the very best profits.

  2. Neither you nor your team has an interest in aesthetics and learning to be competent.

    To re-iterate: the experience of aesthetics treatments should not feel like going for a vaccine, and the treatment is also more complicated. People want an experience to make them feel valued. What this entails varies from individual to individual. But if you’re only interested in a money-making machine, people will find somewhere else that gives them the experience they seek. Either that, or you’ll have to make your model low-cost, high volume. It’s a lot harder to make a margin this way. It’s also a lot of time being spend doing aesthetics treatments if you have no real interest in it. Superdrug offers an extremely cheap option, but with their marketing budget, their margin might come from increased footfall in their store. The hope that by attracting aesthetics patients they’ll also cross-sell make-up or other beauty products. (something you should consider doing no matter your price)

  3. You have no marketing strategy for it.

    If you don’t know how to connect your service to your paying customers, then there’s really no point investing in not just this, but any service. Our Powerful Aesthetics Marketing service is perfect if you don’t want to do this yourself.

If you’re in this position currently, consider improving these areas. It’ll massively ramp up your chances of success.

Marketing your Aesthetics Clinic – Setting yourself up for success

Let’s just make it clear what I mean by marketing – connecting your product/service to your customer. Without that, you’re not going to get anyone into your clinic. If no one knows you offer the service, how can they buy it from you?

Relying on people seeing your service in your pharmacy is going to be slow, slow going. Generally speaking, the market for your aesthetics clinic and the market for your pharmacy will have limited crossover. We’re talking about very different customers. So you need a very different marketing strategy. Your offering could be completely different from an Aesthetics Clinic down the road from you too. So you could need a very different strategy from them.

Your logo, your branding, your website, your social media, your content, even your premises will need to reflect the service you’re offering. And that might sound like a lot of work. But Aesthetics Clinics can make you lots of money. No one ever gets that without work. Set up in the right way though, you can reap handsome rewards. But it’s all dependent on the marketing.

Logo/Branding

Image is everything. For the vast majority of your customers, their first impression and their decision to visit your Aesthetics clinic will be made online. So you have to look, sound, and feel like a brand they’d expect to buy a treatment from.

Website

If you want to have your Aesthetics Clinic share a website with your pharmacy, then the bar for visual appeal needs to be set for the Aesthetics business, not the pharmacy. Your pharmacy customers won’t be put off by a website that looks excessively good for a pharmacy, but your aesthetics customers will be put off by a website that doesn’t look good.

The impression it gives? “If you can’t make your website look good, how can you make me look good?”

SEO

Let’s go back to the definition of marketing. Connecting your service to your customer. The perfect time to do this than when the prospective customer is searching for the service.

At it’s core, SEO means that your website gets found when people search for things. Want your Aesthetics Clinic to be found when people search for “Botox Injections?” You have to optimise your website for that phrase. The video below demonstrates Google searches for different key phrases “botox injections” and “aesthetics injections” and shows how different websites show up for what is a very similar phrase.

 

 

Your average ignoramus like me wouldn’t have a clue about the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery. So it’s important to be found for all the different search terms that people will use when they want your service.

Understanding what people are searching for is critical to getting your service found. If you’re trying to be found for “Aesthetics Clinic” instead of “Plastic Surgery” for instance, you’d be barking up the wrong tree. Plastic Surgery is searched for around 30x more on average and sometimes 50x more. Even though you don’t offer Plastic Surgery, you could optimise a blog post with the title “Plastic Surgery vs Cosmetic Surgery? What’s the difference and which one fits your needs?”

The same is true for “Botox Injections” – and any other service you’d offer. Just like people don’t search for a pharmacy when they want an earwax removal or a travel vaccine, people don’t search for an aesthetics clinic when they want treatments, they search for the treatments.

 

A Google Trends graph showing the difference in search terms between "Botox" (shown in blue) and "Aesthetics Clinic" (shown in red)

A Google Trends graph showing the difference in search terms between “Botox” (shown in blue) and “Aesthetics Clinic” (shown in red)

 

Social Media

The Social media strategy for Aesthetics Clinics differs from a pharmacy strategy in a number of ways. Aesthetics is a visual domain and needs a visual strategy to match. The primary audience for aesthetics is on Instagram, but that doesn’t mean ignoring Facebook, or even Nextdoor. There are tools to utilise on each platform that can help to not only capture new business, but also retain your existing business. This is super critical for aesthetics, as treatments like fillers require repeat visits every few months. Customer retention should be a big focus of your strategy.

 

Paid Ads

Paid ads combine the best of Social Media and Search Engines and hand it to you on a plate. Top of Google. Seen on Social Media. Guaranteed.

What’s the catch? You have to pay for it, naturally. But don’t let that put you off.

Digital advertisements provide better value, better analytics, and better targeting than any other form of advertising. Why does anyone advertise? Because the money it costs you to advertise is far less than the money you make by advertising. Creating and developing a successful ad campaign can be the difference between success and failure.

Ads are especially useful for getting business in the first few months while your organic strategy is growing.

Want help marketing your Aesthetics Clinic?

Our Aesthetics Marketing makes your clinic visible, accessible, and convenient to the relevant people and sets you up to capture the market and the profits which follow.

Understanding what people search for is critical in getting your service found. If you’re targetting “Aesthetics Clinic” instead of “Botox” for instance, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Plastic Surgery is searched for around 30x more on average and, in this spike,100x more.

Harnessing these trends both on Google & Social Media is fundamental to a successful Aesthetics clinic, which is a great opportunity to grow a large revenue stream.

 

LinkedIn poll for popular services in pharmacy

(Taken from our current poll on LinkedIn #impartial)

 

Our Aesthetics Marketing makes your clinic visible, accessible, and convenient to the relevant people and sets you up to capture the market and the profits which follow.

Interested in the opportunity to run an excellent aesthetic clinic in your pharmacy? Check our Powerful Aesthetics Marketing and talk to us about how we can help you set up.

 


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Google My Business Pharmacy Marketing Kit

Google My Business have released a new Marketing Kit for small businesses with some nice goodies in the bag. Watch Saam, our CEO, explain a little bit about it and be sure to download your window sticker!

You can access the marketing materials here.

If you need help setting up or validating your Google profile or would like to drive targeted Ad campaigns through it, then please get in touch!

 

 

trustpilot reviews for pharmacy mentor

 

 

 

 

Leading the way for pharmacy digitally
Our vision is for pharmacies to become self-sufficient digital healthcare hubs within their community (and beyond). We’re supporting 1000’s of pharmacies on this journey by helping them digitise their businesses. This article covers some of the main areas we’re focused on improving in 2021, bringing pharmacies into the modern digital age.

 

Our focus in 2021

Comfort is the death of progress. For a long time, pharmacies were comfortable. Progression was slow. But the world moved on. And now pharmacies are uncomfortable, with increasing online competition and the well-documented decreasing margins for prescriptions. Much of the pharmacy focus in the mainstream media is on impending doom. Because, inevitably, if pharmacies fail to change, closures aren’t far away.

But our focus isn’t on the negatives of inaction. But on lighting the way and showing you the wealth of opportunity that exists along with the continuously evolving digital world. You can read more about our vision and mission here. The future of pharmacy is digital and we intend to lead the sector along this beautiful path.

The 3rd Edition of Mastering Digital Pharmacy is on the way and we’ll update you exactly when that is released this year. But this really does form the backbone of everything we do here at PM. Education and helping you understand why these wonderful digital tools and technologies are so important, and how you can implement them, will always remain a priority for us.

Framework & Best Practice

As well as delivering a multitude of digital marketing and development services, a big focus of ours is on teaching the industry of the framework and best practice which makes that transition smooth and profitable. And that’s what we’ll explore in this article. Incredibly important (but not all) aspects of the expansive digital model, how they work together and why pharmacies need to adopt this model for a profitable service-driven practice.

Pharmacy Mentor is helping pharmacies thrive in the Digital Age, but what are the most important areas of change? What are we doing to deliver the change to our clients? And what are we doing outside of this to bring our support to more pharmacies, whilst ensuring our high standards of service to our existing clients doesn’t drop?

It’s a challenge for sure. But we’re equipped with the right people to handle that, and we’re really excited about this year.

 

1. Supercharging Web Development

websites designed for pharmacies

 

Websites are the central hub to the digital machine. They’re critical for local discoverability, as well as the convenience and functionality they offer. They unquestionably belong at number 1 on our priority list, because they should be number 1 on a pharmacy’s priority list. Let’s explain why.

An ever-increasing world of opportunity

A website is the digital representation of a pharmacy. A great website has the capacity to host the entire business (see online pharmacies and doctors), so it can help to take a huge amount of pressure off a physical pharmacy – if it’s set up right.

A great website gives a great first impression. It streamlines your business and reduces admin and time on the phone. They can reach a massive audience. Websites allow people to:

  • Nominate pharmacies for electronic prescription services
  • Reorder repeat prescriptions
  • Book and pay for private clinics
  • Order prescription treatments via PGD and/or their prescribing qualifications
  • Speak to your pharmacist via video
  • Shop and buy their GSL and P medicines
  • and much, much more…

They are not a “nice to have” thing anymore. It’s not something to leave until next week. You MUST treat your website with as much care and consideration as your physical business. It’s an ESSENTIAL part of your business model.

What we’re focusing on

We play a key role in helping pharmacies do all these things. Our focus is on delivering impactful modern websites with great value and a brilliant user experience. However, we’re also focussing heavily on development to evolve our sites so that they generate even more traction and revenue for our pharmacies with easier overall management.

You must invest well for a website and service because if you do, you can expect to see superb returns. Pharmacy Mentor websites are so in demand that since last year, we’ve grown the web team to 8 people. We’ve recently welcomed a new Head of Web Development and two web developers to our team, a massive catalyst for our website production and evolution.

We have extremely exciting development plans for 2021 (and beyond) and we’ll be releasing regular updates often.

 

2. High-performance keyword optimisation

pharmacy seo

Keyword Optimisation for Pharmacy Services will be critical and is a HUGE opportunity – Get in touch!

 

There’s no point in having a website if no one can find it.

If your website is the library you want people to visit, blogs & SEO are the books that they come in for. The more books you have, the more visitors your library gets. I mean, the words you’re reading right now demonstrate this.

Writing informative and keyword optimised pieces that offer value brings people to your website. If you’re talking about something they need to solve a problem, and you also offer the solution on your website, you can link them like this.

Linking a relevant service in this way is how you convert people from visitors to customers. Just like someone coming into your pharmacy because they want Ibuprofen for a toothache, but then a good conversation with a pharmacist or an advert on a digital screen lets them know they can consult with a dentist digitally.

SEO make sure that people come to your website for what they’re looking for, instead of someone else’s. And we’re going to make sure through brilliant planning and execution, that this happens more and more.

 

3. Raising the social profile

social media is a big focus for 2021

 

Social Media is about connecting with your community and once again, is a mandatory business tool. Communicating what you’re doing in a much more informal way. It works because people like to spend time on Social Media. People don’t enjoy Googling things. They do it because they need something. People spend time by choice on Social Media, so if you can connect with them, you’re guaranteed attention and develop a more loyal relationship.

It also still serves the purpose of driving traffic to your website, or getting people to call and visit your pharmacy…it’s just a different avenue.

A community pharmacy becoming a health hub for its community should have a strong connection to that community. It’s still a big focus of ours for this reason. The recommendations, photos & ability to communicate quickly with your patients and customers are all assets that will work for your business.

 

4. Data Collection, Email Marketing and Analysis

How to collect data in a pharmacy

 

Email Marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing and something most pharmacies don’t utilise. Pretty much every retail store on the high street ask you to sign-up to their mailing list.

Why not pharmacies? They’re amongst the most trusted establishments on the high street. Patients and customers trust their data to companies they feel personally connected to. Ignoring the opportunity this presents is a massive waste.

We’re also focusing a lot more helping pharmacies understand analytical tools within all the marketing channels but also things like Search Console and Google Analytics. As any marketer would know, this is key to driving better strategies and growth.

 

Education

Again, educating pharmacy owners about the opportunities available to them is almost as big a focus as delivering the services.

We did a couple of articles on both Data Collection & Email Marketing for pharmacies if you’re interested in finding out more about either.

 

5. Driving growth through Paid Advertising

 

Facebook INSTAGRAM ADS PHARMACY

 

A common fallacy of Paid Advertising on Social Media is that it’s for when you can’t do organic social media properly. When people think of Social Media, the thought of paying for it seems abhorrent, when you can post for free.

But the opportunities available through paid advertising are simply different (and better.) The difference is, they’re more expensive.

I won’t go into too much detail here, (for that you can read our articles about Google Ads and Facebook Ads through these links) but Paid Digital Advertising has a place in every digital strategy somewhere.

The question is HOW not WHY

Incorporating paid advertising as part of your digital strategy is a must (it’s that good), no matter what level you’re at. The big difference-maker with Paid Digital Advertising is in the how. As lots of companies try to do it themselves, get very little (if any) return and then throw the baby (paid marketing) out with the bathwater (their rubbish attempts).

Think if you were going to put an advert out on TV, or Radio. Would you try and record it yourself? Of course not! But people have this sense that they can do it themselves and get great results with paid marketing.

Our focus with Paid Advertising is to raise awareness of its true power and then harness that power for our clients. We’re opening up a whole new division within our company that focuses purley of paid advertsing becuase we know that this is such an important factor for pharmacy growth.

 

Want to talk about exploring any of these options in your pharmacy?

Get in touch! We’ll analyse your position in the market for the services you want to focus on, and give you a practical plan to make it successful.

Sign up for our newsletter for regular updates, including articles like this one. Be sure to check your email for confirmation and always check our Privacy Policy before signing up. 

 

 

Digital health pharmacy
With so much focus on streamlining business practices and revenues, it’s easily forgotten that Digital Health is ultimately about improving patient health. We’ll look at four great digital health solutions to offer in your pharmacy in 2021 which benefit your patient as much as your pharmacy.

 

digital health services revolutionising patient care

There are lots of services to offer in your pharmacy, but we’re highlighting some of the top ones for 2021.

The Digital Health services to offer in your pharmacy

 

1. TympaHealth

 

TympaHealth’s range of ear health has brought another service for pharmacies to offer to their communities, and it’s absolutely taken off across the UK.

 

The Technology

As shown in the video above, TympaHealth integrates health technology with mobile technology. It also combines the ability to conduct hearing tests and micro-suction into one piece of kit.

Benefits of the service

With most GP’s dropping the ear wax removal during COVID-19, patients are actively seeking out the service. If your pharmacy is appearing on search engines when people search for “ear wax treatment” or similar, you’ll be reaping the rewards already.

Micro-suction, for example. typically takes between 10-20 minutes per appointment, with most prices around £50. So it’s decent bang for your buck. If you automate the process for booking appointments, you really begin driving your profit/minute conversion into an attractive proposition for your pharmacy.

The TympaHealth offering provides more than just ear wax removal, and the process is one that assures patients that their overall ear health is in good hands. This assurance and professional service gives confidence in your pharmacy’s ability to deliver other services, too.

As far as initial services to trial, moving towards a more service-driven pharmacy model, TympaHealth’s Ear Health service is a great place to start in 2021.

 

2. Allergy Testing

 

The world has never been more self-aware and proactive when it comes to intolerances and allergies. One only has to stroll down the dairy aisle of a supermarket and see all the Lactose-free products on offer to know that intolerances and allergies are at the forefront of people’s minds nowadays.

 

 

The Technology

PharmaDoctor partnered with Klarify.me who innovated DIY Allergy Test Kits for people to order and carry out at home. The Klarify test kits detect the body’s reactions to allergen extracts and components, which allows for comprehensive precision testing on hundreds of allergens.

The PharmaDoctor service gives you the accredited training necessary for delivering the service for patients. It’s a useful service, as a lot of patients struggle extracting blood themselves.

Easy Upsell

Someone buying Antihistamines? Just as you look for warning signs with health conditions, allergies are now something you can screen for and test, without having to refer anyone externally.

Benefits of going private

Of course, allergy tests are available through the NHS, but an allergy test service offers the benefit of not having to a) wait months to find out if you can eat or drink a certain foodstuff and b) keep a food diary in attempts to try and determine the source of intolerance.

If you’re in an affluent area where people invest money to save themselves time, this service could be very popular.

3. Pharmaself24

 

Pharmaself24 brings ATM technology to prescriptions. Think about that. How much more convenient did the banking experience become when withdrawing cash didn’t require queueing up and speaking to someone? Not only for the patients but for the banks. It meant the tellers could give more useful services to people who needed more complicated problems solving.

It’s hardly a secret in the industry that margins on prescriptions have put a lot of pressure on pharmacies to come up with alternative solutions to increase their revenue, in some cases to stay afloat. It doubles up as both a convenient service and efficient automation, Pharmaself24 is a great way for your pharmacy to automate the collection of medicines, become more convenient for patients, and free up your staff’s valuable time.

 

 

The Technology

The tech works in a similar way to an Amazon lock-box.

  1. The patient registers with you for the service.
  2. They re-order their prescription as usual (hopefully through a prescription-reordering app).
  3. You prepare the prescription as usual.
  4. Once prepared, and loaded into the Pharmaself, a text alerts the patient that their prescription is ready for collection and gives them a PIN for the machine.
  5. The patient collects their prescription whenever they want, 24/7.
  6. As it’s all digitised, the Pharmaself24 keeps a full audit trail from loading to collection.

It’s an incredible solution for your patients. During the pandemic, it really hammered home its utility, offering a chance to collect prescriptions without any need to come into contact with another person. See how we drove 100’s of EPS Sign-ups through Pharmaself24 marketing.

In a post-pandemic world, the value of a Prescription Collection Machine is intrinsic to customer convenience. And customer convenience is in turn, crucial to customer retention. 24/7 collection is so convenient for the working population, as well as people whose work shifts change.

Why would you queue, or collect at hours that don’t suit you, when you don’t have to?

Competitive Customer Convenience

Customer convenience isn’t a problem when you don’t have convenient competition. But the second someone else is offering 24/7 collection nearby, you’re going to start losing customers. Why wait until you’re losing customers? You could be the one with the machine and accumulating more customers.

Another source of this competition is online pharmacies. They already offer an extremely convenient service. But people might actually prefer to collect their prescriptions. People living in a block of flats for instance may have delivery difficulties. People who aren’t at home a lot might not want their prescriptions sat on their doorstep getting rained on. It’s not going to be the biggest source of people signing up, but it’s another string to your convenient bow.

With digital health in mind, this is a great service for patients. Many patients often complain about their prescriptions not being ready on time. Their dependence on their medication makes timeliness a major concern for them. Streamlining the process and giving round-the-clock access to collections severely reduces prescription dispensing time and decreases occurrences of patients going without medication (whoever’s fault it is).

For so many reasons, Prescription Collection Machines like the Pharmaself24 are absolutely one of the top digital health innovations to adopt in 2021.

Already offer Prescription Collection or are planning to? Check out our Pharmaself24 marketing packs to massively increase EPS sign-ups in your community.

 

4. Instant Dentist

When it comes to convenience, and tech which disrupts industries, Dental Health is a prime example.

 

 

Dentists have one of the ultimate reputations for being hard to get an appointment with. By the time a toothache gets seen to, it’s too late – it’s either gone away or there was no stitch in time to save the nine. The attraction of Instant Dentist is banishing that barrier.

The Technology

As you can see in the video above, Instant Dentist works via photos and questions uploaded through an app, which Online Dentists then use to make assessments. (It’s probably a good idea to dedicate a private space in your pharmacy for people to take these photos to avoid embarrassment.) The Online Dentists then communicate with the patients via the app to prescribe treatment or products for their issue.

Why should I offer the service?

Boots on the ground, to use the old military phrase. People will love the very concept of Instant Dentist, so it’s a great thing to stick in your windows, preferably on an eye-catching digital screen, but posters would work too. (The reason I prefer digital screens for pharmacies offering digital services like that is that it sets the tone for a hygienic, clean, modern facility.) Footfall, at the time of writing, is still a touchy subject, with lockdown only just now beginning to ease.

However, if you market Instant Dentist digitally, (which you absolutely should) then it’s a lockdown-proof service anyway. People have to leave their homes to go to a dentist. The Instant Dentist service is just a different location to get an available dentist consultation.

The service is a completely free setup. As it’s a remote service that simply connects the patients to dentists, there isn’t any additional work for you or compliance to meet.

And you get a revenue split.

Increase visitors to your pharmacy and increase revenue.

It’s that simple.

 

5. Video Consultations

 

Even coming out of lockdown, video consultations are a super convenient solution (which also broadens your geographical catchment area) and are now culturally normalised.

 

Pharmacy Mentor can integrate Video Consultation software into your Pharmacy Mentor Website

 

Even the elderly market adopted the use of this technology during the pandemic to stay in contact with family. And for the elderly, video consultations solve the problem of mobility. Offering video consultations alongside in-person appointments makes your service accessible to everyone.

The important considerations when offering video consultations are the experience and security.

User Experience

No one wants a laggy video call where you struggle to see and hear someone. A solid pharmacy internet connection is a necessity to offer this service.

Safeguarding & Security with Video Consultations

There are significant differences between video calls with friends versus patients. Be mindful of confidentiality over video calls. Treat them with the same respect you’d give to face-to-face consultations is key.

Here is the NHS guidance for providing safe video consultations in a healthcare environment.

 

Want to talk more about which services to offer in your pharmacy?

 

Get in touch! We can help with everything you need to get started, including attracting more people to your pharmacy by marketing these services expertly.

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