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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.

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.

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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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.

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Pharmacy PMR Systems
The Patient Medication Record (PMR) world has long awaited revolution. Is the solution (and the revolution) finally here?

 

PMR Systems – A critical analysis

A PMR system determines the Quality of Life of a pharmacy team.  You don’t want something you use so frequently giving you headaches. But it isn’t just your experience that improves with a good PMR. Your patients’ experience is dependent on a system that enables both communication and efficient service. As we discussed in our guide to choosing an online payment provider, with increasing competition on prescriptions, customer experience is paramount to retaining their business.

The whole EPS system works better for patients, but there is a world of potential for PMR’s to grow into to improve customer experience. With big automated giants like Amazon Pharmacy wading into the prescriptions market, you can be damned sure they’ll have the best system in place for prescriptions. The focus on clinical services is pivotal. Your PMR should both freeing up Pharmacists’ time and making patients’ lives easier.

Industry-Leading Pharmacy PMR Systems in the UK

All the providers we’ll look at in this article are “industry-leading”, using their own words. So, it isn’t really clear who the industry leader is. Or what they even mean when they say that. Is industry leading the best? Or is it the first to be released? Hopefully, our guide will provide direction and a bit of clarity with what you can expect from each provider. We’ll update this guide routinely so it’s always a useful source for you when you need it.

Don’t forget, you can bookmark this page into your browser by heading to Settings > Bookmarks > Add this Tab.

Does any PMR System fit a modern pharmacy?

The name Patient Medication Record shows the focus of PMR systems. And this way of thinking, along with a lack of cutting-edge competition, held back PMR development (and pharmacies) for some time. You’re undeniably reliant on prescriptions as a baseline to your business and require a system to manage that. But the historic reality of PMR systems was no matter how good they are at managing medication, they’re focused on – and therefore limited to – managing medication. As a business, when your infrastructure is limited, so is the service you’re able to offer. If you want to grow (or you’re forced into it by ever-decreasing prescription margins) into something more than a dispensing pharmacy, you’ll naturally need more from the system you’re using.

There’s an issue with complaining about PMR’s when thinking about the system that a modern pharmacy needs. The intuitive thing to do is to think of what already exists and try to make it better, but that’s like trying to make a plane and starting with a car. You can slap a pair of wings on a car, but it’s going to take you a lot longer to make it fly than it would if you just started from scratch and designed a plane.

via GIPHY

Think about designing a system from scratch to manage your patients now. How would it function? What is it capable of doing? Understanding that the focus of a modern pharmacy is now multi-dimensional, the chances are you wouldn’t even call it a Patient Medication Record System, but a Patient Management System. (Or a Patient Integrated Care System, if only for the abbreviation PICS)

With all that in mind, what’s the best existing PMR system on the market?

Which PMR System does the best job?

Whilst no system is perfect for every pharmacy (one size rarely fits all), which existing provider comes closest to ticking all the boxes you want?

The five PMR systems we’ll review all offer unique elements to improve your working life. However, there are unique aspects to each system making each more appealing to some pharmacy owners than others. We’ll also include the company’s own video (where available) to give them a chance to speak for themselves.

Please note: As of this publication, we are not affiliated with any PMR System provider and this has been written with no bias whatsoever. It is for information purposes and comprises of what we know when doing our research into them on a top-level, some feedback we’ve naturally been given from our clients and the experience our CEO has had in using some of the systems as a pharmacist himself. We are by no means indicating one is better over the other and it’s up to you to decide which will be right for your particular business. Furthermore, these PMR systems are in no order of priority and numbered randomly. 

1. Invatech – Titan PMR

The Titan PMR from Invatech was created in 2016 by their CEO Tariq Muhammed to remedy some of the headaches he’d faced when running his pharmacy group. You can tell its creator has experience running a business, as it addresses a lot of business headaches. It’s a PMR, but crafted with business management in mind.

An immediately striking element of Titan is it’s clearly created to be used by anyone. One of the biggest issues in any business adopting new technology is “buy-in” from the staff, and the training needed to get them using it effectively.

Titan’s system undoubtedly reflects modern software expectations. Anyone familiar with using a smartphone will find the system intuitive.

The Titan system has individual logins that are completely customisable for the users too. This means that your pharmacy technician and Superintendent Pharmacist can work with information and functions that make sense to their job role, whilst working from the same system

The genius behind Titan’s PMR is that it brings in modern business solutions, such as the ability to monitor individual performances such as completion rates and mistakes. This allows for detailed performance analysis and gives good insights into where training is required.  On the topic of training, the system has an inbuilt guide/tour of how to use its functions – so face-to-face training isn’t required. However, it’s important that staff understand the full functionality of what’s available to them. Quickly skipping through the tutorials will lead to inefficiencies down the line.

Integrations

It integrates, unsurprisingly, with Invatech’s Care Home Management system, Atlas PCS. If you already work with Atlas, it makes sense to adopt Titan too in the same way if you have an Apple or Microsoft laptop you’re better off with the same make of phone. The compatibility outweighs so many other pros and cons.

However, Invatech claim Titan PMR should be able to integrate with any healthcare app created using approved structures. This relies on other healthcare apps being built in the right way. So there might not be a raft of apps you can immediately integrate with, but it’s certainly future-proof.

Titan’s USP

Where it gets really exciting with Titan PMR though, is the “building blocks” approach to a tailored system. As much as one size can never fit all, this building blocks feature allows you to create different models of PMR for different models of pharmacy. As such, with a bit of time investment, you can mould your PMR system to your exact business model. Their claim “if you can imagine it, Titan can probably do it.”

A new player in the PMR market, Titan PMR has reimagined what PMRs should be. Whilst it might not be the complete package just yet, that might only be because other healthcare applications need to catch up to the level of integration that Titan can offer.

Titan’s offering is focused on helping Independent Community Pharmacies, mainly as that’s CEO Tariq Muhammed’s vision. “Leaving good pharmacists to do great services,” is the mantra behind his foray into technology in the pharmacy industry. So, provided you’re an Independent Community Pharmacy, Titan could well be the PMR for you.

Cool features
  • Integratable API – Allows for integration with other systems
  • Forward-Thinking/Future-Proof – The reason for Titan’s creation was a frustration with the existing systems. As long as Titan doesn’t become the very thing it set out to beat, it looks like a strong horse to hitch your wagon to. The way it’s designed stands it in good stead for the future.
  • Building Blocks Model allows you to model your system on your pharmacy model, rather than try and fit one to the other.
  • Flexible Support Channels including WhatsApp – Customer service is obviously a huge factor. Whilst we can’t attest to the service provided, the flexibility to speak to people is a good sign.
Considerations
  • Only recently released. With other more established PMR’s, it’s easier to find and read the experiences of people like you with reviews and testimonials online. Whilst there’s no telling if there are user issues, you’d be an early adopter at this stage, and therefore open to potential teething issues and bugs. It’s also unclear what the customer service is like. However, their eMAR product Atlas has positive Trustpilot reviews.

Find out more about the Titan PMR system on their website

 

2. Cegedim Rx

Cegedim Rx is already a big player in the PMR world when it comes to Medication Management. But the big advantage – the name. Pharmacy Manager. Not just the name, obviously. (Though it does sound like a fun computer game.) The benefit is more in how Cegedim Rx views Pharmacy Manager. Which is to say, they also view it as something that should reflect the whole of Pharmacy, including the incorporation of delivering services.

Switching PMR systems can be an administrative pain, so if you’re looking to switch to a new provider, it’s worth thinking about the future as well as the present. What’s the company’s vision for their PMR offering? Does their vision match up to your strategy as a pharmacy?

User Feedback

Cegedim Rx appears keen to listen to feedback from their users, and understand the direction Pharmacy as an industry is headed to develop their product into one that works for its users.

This is taken from the Cegedim Rx website:

We have embedded our commitment into a product experience goal that commits to delivering products and solutions that precisely match our customer’s needs, enhance the UK healthcare systems, and facilitate improvements in patient care and outcomes.

It’s promising to see both pharmacies and patients involved in product development.

Interface

Aesthetically, the Cegedim Rx is great to look at, having undergone a facelift in a recent update.

The dashboard design is useful, with a useful colour-coding alert system to prioritise tasks. It has good links to NHS services, including the prescription tracker and NHS mail within Pharmacy Manager, meaning find out what stage prescriptions are at without having to leave your PMR.

We know that Cegedim have big plans to advance Pharmacy Manager even further so in terms of innovation, they are helping community pharmacy evolve in its operations. This is a strong feature of the PMR and the company as a whole.

Integrations

As mentioned, Pharmacy Manager is integrated with the NHS Prescription Tracker, which makes handling customer calls a breeze, as you’ll always know exactly where a prescription is up to.

If getting and giving great customer service is your main priority, Cegedim might be your best option.

Cool features
  • User Interface – With a focus on making sure you never forget anything ever again by making the important things visible.
  • Reliability – Cegedim Rx support is widely praised for their communications and the system held up even during the Pandemic.
  • Updates – Cegedim Rx are constantly listening to customer feedback and improving the system with updates which improves the issues that people want fixed.
Considerations
  • Consider the functionality of this PMR and compare it to other PMRs. Does it have the required variety of spec to do what you want to do in the pharmacy?

Check out Pharmacy Manager on Cegedim Rx’s website

 

3. Rx Web

Rx Web divides people more than pineapple on pizzas. Whichever way you slice it, (#PizzaPunIntended) Rx Web is a forward-thinking solution. But can they deliver? (end of pizza puns)

Cloud-based

A cloud-based platform enabling access from any PC or terminal instantly is a smart solution for pharmacies with more than one branch, or even just a large pharmacy with lots of terminals.

Cloud-based is so much better for so many reasons – there’s a reason Microsoft & Apple use it.

Imagine your pharmacy was broken into and your IT equipment was stolen. On the cloud, your data is still safe and accessible. Storing your data on your hardware isn’t secure.

Multiple pharmacies under the same umbrella? Working from the cloud makes it as though you’re working as one. Instead of your teams working in isolated branches, the cloud is a tree to connect them all. This means if you have a branch that’s busier than another, the one that isn’t as busy can be taking the prescription workload off the busy branch. Not only that, but the prescriptions will appear to be coming from the pharmacy they were ordered from. From the consumer’s perspective, it’s seamless.

Features

Rx Web gets a lot of praise for its range of features, even from its critics. It even includes some Clinical Service support, though the list of supported services is limited to basic services like MURs, Flu Jabs, and Health Checks.

It also integrates with Care Home systems and its features around Care Homes specifically are quite extensive.

Whilst it’s great that they offer patient communications, and even give you 200 free texts per month, but it feels like 200 free texts won’t get you very far. Meaning there’s almost certainly additional costs in there if you wanted to truly use this system. They also, bafflingly, offer fax functionality with this. I don’t know how many of your customers have a fax machine sat at home. But perhaps you’re a pharmacy set in the ’80s. If you are, look no further. Rx Web has fax support.

Price

Trying to get exact prices from PMR companies is a tricky task, especially as they often range based on individual needs. However, Rx Web has a reputation as the cheapest on the market, so if reducing your outgoings is your main priority, Rx Web might be your first port of call. We believe they only charge per pharmacy, so even if you have 10 terminals in your pharmacy, you pay once.

Reliability

Where Rx Web seems to fall down is on its system’s integrity. Whilst some users report no issues, there are a lot of negative comments around Rx Web’s ability to run properly at busy times, suggesting their server isn’t big enough to cope. The technical support also receives mixed reviews. Their contract claims to be simple, but there are reviews that claim there is also no cooling off period. So simple it might be, but make sure you check what you’re signing up to. All things considered, it looks like a bit of a lottery when you sign up with Rx Web. You might be a big winner, but you might be a big loser.

Depends if you like pineapple on your pizza, I guess.

Cool features
  • Low Fees – Users often remark on Rx Web being the cheapest on the market
  • Features – Especially considering the price point, Rx Web provides a lot of bang for your buck.
Considerations
  • Server unreliability is concerning – though apparently, the servers are better now than they were.
  • Ranging reviews on Customer Service implies it depends who you get through to on the day.

Check out Rx Web’s website for more details on its features

 

ProScript Connect

ProScript’s reputation is that they’re the best PMR system, but also the most expensive. Logically, that makes sense. If something frees up more of your time, it’s more valuable. But how exactly does ProScript Connect do this? And does it stand up to the new kid on the block?

This video isn’t a promotional video, and it’s four years old. But it’s the only thing available and might give you some idea of what to expect with ProScript Connect.

Works even when your broadband goes down

With even the best internet prone to disconnect for no discernable reason, the idea that your PMR system (and effectively with it,  your ability to do prescriptions) is tied to such whims is less than ideal, to say the least. ProScript’s “Constant Connect” automatically connects you to your NHS network via a 3G/4G connection in the event of a broadband failure. Pretty useful, if things like working are important in your pharmacy.

Clinical Services Provisions

Helpfully, there aren’t specifications for exactly which PGDs are covered, but that suggests you could feasibly assume that all PGD’s are included. The fact that there’s a Service Hub included does make ProScript Connect a really useful engine if you’re big on clinical services.

Wide Range of Features

Many of the benefits of ProScript come through the many modules they’ve developed as a part of the software, as above. Without going through them all one by one, it’s safe to say that each one is useful and thought through.

Communications wise it’s the same as many other providers, where you are able to send email or text notifications to patients…but again, what we’d really love is the option to text message back. Whilst it’s not imperative for prescriptions, communicating whether a patient needs to cancel or rearrange an appointment is valuable automation that just isn’t catered for at present.

Multi-tasking

It seems simple, but the ability to open tabs and work with different windows is useful. It makes so much sense in fact, that it makes any system where you can’t do that, look a bit silly.

Interoperability

Does ProScript Connect play well with others? Integrations are a big feature of what ProScript is aiming to do, with a big focus on linking with NHS systems like GP Connect & SystmOne. It uses SNOMED CT, which is required now by all NHS systems and enables information to be shared accurately without duplicitous re-entry by hand.

They also have an open API, so any third-party apps can build their apps to work with ProScript. (whether or not they do that will be down to the third-parties). But it’s certainly a plus point from ProScript. Integrations are so important for saving time on tedious admin tasks.

Cool features
  • Integrations – With a focus on working well with NHS systems, there’s no doubt that ProScript plays well with other applications you might have or want.
  • 3G/4G connection to cover internet failure is a big win.
  • Tabs! I get they aren’t the tidiest, but tabs are so useful to work with.
Considerations
  • Cost – ProScript is high-end, which means paying high-end prices. But you get what you pay for in life.

See more details of Proscript Connect’s modules on the EMIS website

 

Positive Solutions

Positive Solutions isn’t just a PMR provider. Although their PMR system is a solid standalone offering, what probably makes them the right option for you is if you’re interested in their Integrated Pharmacy Solution. It’s a fairly comprehensive solution including an ePoS system that completely integrates with your PMR. They offer other products like Analyst Head Office, which gives analysis on things like retail sales, profits, dispensing volumes across pharmacies, etc. Or Analyst Handout, demonstrated in the video below, which takes the power of your PMR into mobile terminals.

 

 

 

Switching PMR systems can be an administrative pain, so if you’re looking to switch to a new provider, it’s worth thinking about the future as well as the present. What’s the company’s vision for their PMR offering? Does their vision match up to your strategy as a pharmacy?

No Dispensing Downtime

Just like ProScript, Positive Solutions understand the frustrations with system downtime on a PMR, and provide 3G coverage if and when your broadband fails.

Incorporates Delivery Mates into your PMR

Your driver simply scans all the prescription bag label barcodes with the eDelivery app and the app does everything else.

Maps the best route with all traffic information for the driver and this includes keeping your patient informed of estimated delivery times. A dashboard in the pharmacy gives you all the information you need. It’s especially useful managing volunteers, proving you have a robust system to protect against fraud.

Extensive training

Most PMR suppliers tend to opt for either face-to-face training or online training. Positive Solutions have both. Face-to-face training upon installation, and an eLearning platform for training whenever it’s needed.

Integrates with your Robots

If you’ve got a robot or an automated collection point, Analyst PMR can be synced up with them so there’s no gap in your workflow.

Cool features
  • Services Functionality – With a focus on making sure you never forget anything ever again by making the important things visible.
  • Good All-Rounder – Positive Solutions provides almost all the benefits and features other providers offer. Sometimes not as good, but at least the functionality is there.
  • Reliable Customer Service – With instant responses during working hours, so if something goes wrong it can get looked at straightaway.
  • Reports – Included in the price, unlike with some PMRs.
Considerations
  • Some of the extra products in their ecosystem appear to come as standard in other PMR packages.

Check out Analyst PMR on Positive Solutions’ website

So which is the best PMR for your pharmacy?

That’s the golden question. Which one is right for your pharmacy business? 

It depends on how your business operates but we think the following are major reasons to influence your decision:

  • Customer service – Stuff goes wrong. It’s inevitable. The PMR record will not load or the system my go down. And making sure that the PMR company are responsive and accessible is key. If providers have limited access or don’t get back to you, simply avoid them.
  • User reviews – Does the company have social proofing? What do your colleagues say about them? Word of mouth goes a long way but if they are actively generating reviews online, this is a very good indication to go with them.
  • Integration – Does the software integrate with other third-party providers? Or is the software totally inflexible? If providers aren’t collaborating with other companies or their software/hardware does not integrate with other solutions, you’re limiting yourself.
  • Innovation – If when having a demo of the PMR provider, the user interface still looks like that from Windows 95,  it may be a sign that the company lacks forward vision. Is the PMR provider using cloud-based or hybrid solutions, modern interfaces and state of the art software and hardware? If yes, then this is a green light.
  • Time-saving – The ultimate limiting factor for a pharmacist today is time. Will the provider will save you time in your operations and streamline workflow? This is an extremely important factor. More time = less admin = more room to develop and grow your business.

Have you been using a particular PMR system for your pharmacy? Finding a solution useful or poor? We’d love to hear from you.

If you’re looking for help in selecting the PMR for your pharmacy, please get in touch with us. Our Director, Saam, is a pharmacist of 15+ years, accompanied by the fact that we speak to literally 100’s of pharmacists every week using a variety of different PMR solutions, we’re in the know.


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pharmacy website statistics showing 89 thousand page views and 28 thousand new users
“A good pharmacy website will attract far more visitors than the pharmacy itself”

A Pharmacy Website from Pharmacy Mentor makes your life easier

Unless you’re planning on becoming the Starbucks of Pharmacy, you won’t always be the closest pharmacy geographically to people.

But if your pharmacy website is built right, you’ll be the first place people see when they start searching for anything you offer. Having a website and digital presence that is optimised correctly is one of the most important things to do for your business but it is totally neglected. 

Built right, they’ll find it easy to navigate. They’ll be clearly directed to relevant actions to take. Whether that’s:

  • Booking appointments through a booking calendar
  • Filling out risk assessment forms for your PGD’s
  • Paying for medicines or services online
  • Re-ordering their repeat prescriptions
  • Leaving their details for you to contact them
  • Contacting the pharmacy team over the phone
  • Or visiting the pharmacy

There are, of course, websites that don’t do these things. There are old cars that break down all the time and cars which race for 24 hours in Le Mans. Not all websites are created equal. Pharmacy Mentor websites work because they’re purpose-built. Making your life, and your customers’ lives, easier.

Pharmacy website company

Get customers you’d never get without a website

A busy mum decides to find immediate help for that migraine they’ve been getting for the last two years. She can’t wait for a 2-week appointment at the GP. She turns to Google for help.

If you don’t have a website or have a poorly-optimised website, they either don’t find you for help, use your online competitor, or they’re forced to use the GP – which burdens the NHS and is detrimental to her health for waiting so long. 

We flip that script for you.

They search “migraine relief South Manchester ” on Google. With a properly-optimised website, your pharmacy website shows up with your page on Migraine Relief. You recommend OTC medicines and prescribe a prescription-only medicine that can be paid for online or in-store. However, you advise that if the migraines continue to get more frequent, they’ll need to book an appointment to see their GP.

Now they feel cared for. People remember that. If you call them when they asked, they’ll remember you’re reliable and trust you.

An open conversation about someone’s health is a great opportunity to build a relationship with them. Tell them about your other services, or just that they should come to you first if they aren’t feeling well again. They could even follow your social media for health tips and updates on your services.

You got yourself a new customer for life.

All because they found you online first. All because your pharmacy website was built with their experience in mind.

Looking for help in marketing your services better and building an online presence? Please get in touch with us. We’ll be glad to help.

 

Google Ads for Pharmacy
Google Ads for pharmacies. They’re happening on a small scale right now for Travel Clinics and Private Services, compared to the rest of the business world. But they’re growing, as people realise how much money they can make using them.

How do Google Ads work?

Even if you appear at the top of the page organically, companies and pharmacies using Google Ads appear above this because of the way the Google results are laid out. (Strangely, Google rewards people giving them money?)

google results page layout

How Google search displays when you search for locations like “Travel Clinic”

How do they do it?

It’s really simple.

  1. Create a Google Ads account.
  2. Make a Google Ad.
  3. They choose search terms to target, such as “Travel Clinic.”

Then when people search for things that are related to Travel Clinics on Google, e.g., Travel Vaccinations – the ad appears like this:

google ads search results page

Ads display at the top of Google for the search terms they target.

 

It might seem like a waste of money to pay for ads to appear when you are already ranking at the top organically, but if you don’t, you’re giving advertisers an opportunity to appear above you and steal the customers who were looking for you.

Especially when they’re searching for something like “Travel Vaccines.”

I don’t know about you, but I don’t go home and search for Travel Clinics to relax. It’s because I need one. Now assume I don’t care where I get my vaccine from, I just want the damn thing. So I’m going to click on the first relevant thing I see.

And if that’s an Ad, that’s exactly what I’ll click on. If they make it easy for me to book on their site, and they’re the price I’m expecting to pay, then I book my appointment and go on with the things I actually want to be doing.

And that’s it. Deal done. Transaction over. It cost that business however much Google charged them for a click, which on average is between 50p-£1.

How can you get a piece of that sweet, sweet Google Ads pie?

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ’em. Funnily enough, it’s really simple.

  1. You create a Google Ads account.
  2. Then you make a Google Ad.
  3. You choose search terms to target, such as “Travel Clinic.”

Then when people search for things that are related to Travel Clinics on Google, e.g., Travel Vaccinations – the ad appears as above.

If that all sounds familiar, it’s because it’s exactly the same process that they used to get all the customers unchallenged. Except now you’re actually competing for the business, not just standing by and letting them take it.

The best part? You have something they don’t. You have access to a digital marketing agency that runs Google Ads for pharmacies all the time. 

We know the ads that work, the best times to run them, and the way to set them up for success. Your ads will attract clicks, even when alongside another ad.

Unconvinced by Google Ads?

You’ll likely want to understand how this happens, to get similar results for your pharmacy.

You might have tried Google Ads for your pharmacy and not seen much success from them. You might have heard horror stories of people pouring thousands of pounds down a black hole with no return. This is entirely possible, when Google Ads are run without the proper knowledge of how to get results.

But our results speak for themselves. Here’s an Ad we pointed towards a website. Note – we are showing you SMART Campaigns here, not Advanced Campaigns. We’ll be adding info about Advanced Google Ads at a later point.

 

statistics for a Google Ad

Example SMART Google Ad Campaign

It gave the option to call immediately or visit the website for more information, as well as links to book appointments for that service. 50p/click which is the low end of average. Think we’re showing off? I literally just picked a random ad. Here’s another one. (This was the second one we looked at, I can’t even guarantee it’s the best performing.)

statistics for a flu jab google ad

This Ad targeted flu jabs and averaged approximately 30p a click in North London.

This second Ad was promoting a Flu Jab service (the Pharmacy forgot they’d asked us to do it and were wondering why they were getting private flu jab enquiries!) They got an even lower cost per click at 30p! This one was aimed at driving calls to the pharmacy and physical visits./span>

Google Ads for pharmacies get found by so many search terms

The search terms this ad got results for.

You lose customers by not showing up when they’re searching online.

Exceptional results even without a massive budget.

Both of these ads are LOW budgets. And we don’t recommend that. For multiple reasons.

  • Our management fee remains the same regardless of your budget (unless you want super serious Ads). So the more you spend, the greater the value is.
  • The same is true of Google’s charges. The more you budget, the lower your average cost per click is. It’s the equivalent of buying in bulk.
  • A limited budget means that your ad switches off during the day when it’s used up it’s budget. This means lots of people could be searching for your service and your ad stops displaying whilst your competitors keeps going. And they go back to winning all the business.

Also, please note that the above ads were run on SMART campaigns which is the basic form of Google Ads. Advanced Ads require more budget and management fees because of the data we are gathering. We’re learning exactly how to make the best ROI from every pound we spend.

Ready to start getting clients with Google Ads? Book a call and we’ll get you up and running.

 

 

PCR Test Pharmacy
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a massive period of uncertainty for pretty much everyone. But where there is chaos, there is also opportunity. In this particular case, for pharmacies, the opportunity was marketing PCR Tests.

The Opportunity

The demand for PCR tests quickly picked up when lockdown was lifted and people were allowed to travel again. 

pcr test google trends

This graph shows the popularity of the search on Google over the past 12 months.

The Results

Pharmacy Mentor harnessed this demand for our clients who offered PCR testing. We also recommended that other pharmacies begin to offer PCR testing through their pharmacy as a result of the trend analysis. 

Here are the stats for one of them:

website statistics marketing pcr tests showing 89 thousand page views and 28 thousand new users

Off the wall statistics for an independent pharmacy website.

 

This reads like a marketing symphony. Imagine for a second that this was a physical pharmacy…

  • New users: – 28,702 people have walked into your pharmacy off the street. 28,702 people.
  • Sessions: – Those people came into the pharmacy on average 1.54 times.
  • Page Views: – Of the 90k page views, the consultation form page had 18.5k views. So, of those 28,000 people who walked into your pharmacy to ask about PCR tests, 18,500 signed up for a consultation.

Good Problems

It’s really been a bit of a problem. Because it’s not easy to cope with such demand.

Fortunately, the fact we have Telegram & WhatsApp support for our clients means they get instant support whenever they need it. And this did need quite a bit of support!

A separate phone-line and email had to be created for PCR requests and all other requests on their website. Fortunately, having created their website too, so we could do this immediately.

On-site consultations needed to become online consultations to make room for flu jab appointments. I’ll say that again. To make room for flu jab appointments. The pharmacy was wall-to-wall booked with PCR consultations.

Then online consultations booked up. We had to turn the form off temporarily because there was too much demand and people couldn’t book appointments.

We’ve had to evolve the website to be able to accept online payments to streamline the money coming into the business. Not a bad problem to have.

“Please help, I have so many calls and requests per day, I can’t process it all.” At its peak, marketing PCR tests was making this pharmacy £5k/day.

How we did it

You’ll likely want to understand how this happens, to get similar results for your pharmacy.

Two words. Keyword Optimisation.

Understanding how Google works, we created and optimised two articles for their website (yes, you need a website for this to work). Our keyword research found the terms that people mostly used to search. We published each article – making it both user-friendly (easy to read, easy to use) and Google-friendly (clearly optimised for keywords and formatted well).

A couple of weeks later, due to the lack of competition, the articles topped Google for the relevant keywords, beating the Government websites.  

We created a digital form on the site for people to fill in so they could book everything online, as well as a payment mechanism.  Two reasons for this:

  1. It’s easier for you as a pharmacist to manage.
  2. It’s better for the customer/patient – because when people are searching the internet:
  • they aren’t always in a position to pick up the phone
  • Phone lines might be busy
  • your pharmacy might be closed when they’re searching for the service (in the evening!)

You lose customers by not allowing them to do everything online.

Able to act with our finger on the pulse

There was obviously the matter of timing, too. That’s why we’re the perfect healthcare partner. We know the heartbeat of healthcare when it comes to marketing throughout the year.

Overall, the investment on this project from the pharmacy was around £500. This resulted in making £1,000’s/day.

When the opportunity knocked, we answered.

Our monthly marketing packs give you access to what is essentially a remote marketing department. With constant dialogues from our team, you’ve got instant access to the trends and the tactics that maximise impact – from those trends, for your pharmacy.

PCR testing is an exceptional bubble, for sure. If you do offer PCR tests, get in touch now because we can maximise your impact.

But this strategy works for all the PGDs and on-site services you offer, as well as eCommerce. There’s a massive vacuum on Google in the world of healthcare. Waiting for pharmacies like yours to fill it – and fulfil the demand of all the thousands of searches happening every day.

Looking for help in marketing your services better and building an online presence? Please get in touch with us. We’ll be glad to help.

 

“We had no digital presence before we used the services provided by Pharmacy Mentor and our profits were being eaten up by ridiculous fees. Now, we’re generating over 100 bookings per month through our own slick and seamless, money-generating automated system.”
Pharmacy Owner – Edinburgh, Scotland

About

This pharmacy is a local independent community pharmacy serving the populations in Edinburgh. They are a popular, long-established chemist who understands that innovation is the only way forward in this tough, competitive climate.

Challenges

The challenges that they faced were:

  • He knew the pharmacy had the potential to deliver many more pharmacy service consultations but he didn’t know how to achieve that.
  • He wanted to avoid giving half of his profits away to the company that provided the PGDs for him.
  • He had no marketing strategy of his own. The pharmacy had no digital presence.

Solutions

Pharmacy Mentor works with them to develop a bespoke digital marketing strategy with the goals of:

  • Building their own online booking system with integrated Pharmadoctor PGD consultations
  • Integrating the online booking system into their pharmacy website
  • Building a dedicated Travel Clinic website to dominate keywords associated with their Travel Clinic
  • Develop and execute an organic social media strategy through Facebook, Instagram, and Google My Business
  • Drive higher numbers of bookings through paid Google Adwords

Results

With the entire scope of marketing conducted, we have transformed the business in terms of the pharmacy services they offer, their Travel Clinic in particular. We have significantly increased monthly revenue and profits for them.

Notable outcomes of marketing efforts:

  • Positioned on page 1 of Google for most search terms associated with their pharmacy services in the locality, organically. This was achieved 3 months after the build and optimisation of their new website. The website is generating over 300 new users and >1000 page views per month, organically.
  • Our marketing efforts have now begun to generate well over 100 bookings of various pharmacy services every month. The Travel Clinic and Medicspot being up there with the most popular:

 

Total bookings generated in September 2019

 

  • Google Ads have been performing very well over the last two months with click-through rates (CTR’s) averaging 16% and average conversions at 22%, which is much higher than the industry average.

 


Saam Ali - The Pharmacy Mentor

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