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It’s time for pharmacies to go digital!

Today, almost all retail sectors are concerned by digitalization. Now it’s the turn of the pharmaceutical industry, which is also gradually being affected by the digital transformation of its points of sale. In fact, with the evolution of customer behavior, which is becoming more and more connected and demanding in terms of personalized services, pharmacies must also respond to the demands and needs of consumers and thus adapt to the new digital era that awaits them.

Let’s take a look at why it’s so important for pharmacies to go digital and how to transition to this approach by implementing the first basics.

Ultra-connected consumers looking for efficiency
As mentioned, with the expansion of technology on a daily basis, consumers are now ultra-connected individuals seeking personalized services and a simple and efficient shopping experience. Indeed, according to Statista, nearly 32.3 million Canadians own a smartphone that gives them access to the Internet anytime, anywhere. Moreover, the pandemic has reinforced these new consumer habits, now prioritizing online shopping.

Retailers are faced with a new type of consumer who wants to save time, have access to a lot of information on the product, consult customer or expert opinions, be advised and feel unique through the personalization of services.

To meet all these new expectations, retail merchants have had to digitize their tools, processes and operations to improve their in-store performance. Being more than just a trend, pharmacies are also starting to embrace the digitalization phenomenon, which opens the doors to multiple opportunities.

As mentioned in the Digitaleo article, digitalization will allow pharmacists to be proactive in their consumers’ purchasing process while remaining close and attentive to their future expectations. Indeed, one of the big benefits of the digitalization of pharmacies will be the loyalty of the customers, who will be satisfied with their shopping experience now adapted to their taste and needs.

How to lead this digital transition and which technological tools to prioritize?
To undertake the digitization of your pharmacy, it is important to put yourself in the customer’s shoes to understand their urgent expectations and thus prioritize the tools and processes to be digitized. In addition, it is important to take into account the various stages of the customer’s journey within purchasing process in order to know what frustrations the customer has during his shopping experience. As Digitaleo clearly illustrates, there are two intertwined journeys: the one that takes place online and the one that takes place in person.

Source : Digitaleo ” Un nouveau parcours client : On et Offline”

Today, there are many technologies and digitization tools that are perfectly suited to optimize each step of this journey. Here are some of them:

  1. A digital footprint: this is one of the basics to start digitizing your pharmacy. It is essential that the location of the point of sale be web-based while adding contact information that makes the location reachable. The next step would be to create a website that allows your customers to know what kind of products they can expect to find in the store and especially to create an online appointment booking platform that will optimize the management of consultations.

  2. Geopositioning of products in store: Once in the pharmacy, the customer will begin the search for the desired product. To facilitate this search, the installation of a geopositioning system can solve any frustration thanks to a created itinerary that guides the customer from point A to point B.

  3. The electronic shelf labels, the indispensable tool to automate operations: Once in front of the shelf where the product is located, the customer can not only easily locate it thanks to the flashing of the electronic shelf label (ESL) but also finds himself in front of a price that is sure to be up-to-date. In fact, price automation is one of the most important processes to implement in a store. Moreover, the ESL displays a lot of information on its screen, such as promotions, expiration dates, the number of items in stock, etc…

  4. Click & Collect: Since the pandemic, the Click & Collect service has become very appreciated by consumers, who find in this service a perfect in-between between digital and physical to make their purchases. Thanks to Pricer’s Geopositioning system merged with the ESL Instant SmartFlash, Click & Collect can be further optimized to facilitate the clerk’s journey and reduce customer frustration. 

  5. Self-service checkouts: When it comes to cashing out items, customers want to be able to finish their shopping without waiting too long. The installation of self-service checkouts at the exit of the store is therefore the ideal solution in terms of time-saving.

To conclude, we can observe that there are many technologies adapted to all levels allowing to optimize each step of the customer’s shopping journey. This fusion between the digital and physical world (phygitalization) represents the new reality that pharmacists must face. The digitization of tools and operations in stores is becoming more and more essential in order to meet customers’ expectations.