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Covid-19 has disturbed the world’s economy and how people do their business. Together with healthcare, the retail pharmacies were tested during this challenging phase and played a crucial role in maintaining the motion of the healthcare system when it was loaded during the pandemic. CVS Pharmacy has labeled 2021 as a ‘Year of Pharmacist,’ Its report forecasts that pharmacists will be the most common healthcare point in the years after their key role during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Digital pharmacies have quickly gained thrust as a lot of countries directed curfews and fear of the virus has kept people limited to homes – ingratiatory them to turn into eCommerce for fulfilling their prescription drug needs. Whereas pharmacies were still testing online markets because of the pandemic and increasing eCommerce demands, many needed to drop into untested waters in the past year. This is obvious from new players, including Capsule & Medley Pharmacy, increasing massive investments, and veteran eCommerce giants, including Amazon entering the digital pharmacy marketplace in the past few years.
With the digital landscape's growth, digital transformation in the healthcare sector and retail pharma is ongoing. During the whole week of the pandemic in mid-March, sales of e-pharmacies in the Czech Republic augmented by over 100% compared to last year's sales in a similar period. Parallel growth was detected in Slovakia and might be seen as a pointer to a rising growth trajectory with the reception of digital pharmacies in different countries. Let’s go through some current pharmacy trends and the future of pharmacy:
People are Frequently Visiting Pharmacies for Health Problems
According to the latest CVS Pharmacy report, people are more open to sharing their problems with pharmacists and taking their opinions on many health problems. The report predicts that pharmacists will become the most visited touchpoint for people and will continue playing a pivotal role in the healthcare ecosystem. It makes it essential for the pharmacy sector to grow together with netizens’ expectations and be ready to help them in the best possible way.
Patients Assume Superior Experiences from Pharma Sector
Today’s patients are highly challenging and, like in all other experiences, assume superior services from the pharma sector also. They depend heavily on online content for health-associated queries and ailments and turn towards healthcare and pharmacy segments for the same. They have to provide quick and dependable support with accurate details, quick delivery, and professional customer services for better conversion of today’s online data seekers and digital clients. For different digital pharmacies, the competition is intensifying, and it is a beautiful opportunity for reaching patients having high-quality services and content.
Retail Pharmacies Have Become Future-Ready
Pharmacies don’t rely on alone brick & mortar presence. With digital retail, pharmacies must increase and hinge to digital or omnichannel presence to meet customer requirements and increase their reach. Using easy and seamless options to begin your online journey with stages like BigCommerce or Shopify, retail pharmacies must think about the offline presence and step into ‘new-age’ retail by accepting digital tools and up and approaching retail technologies.
Digital pharmacies are quickly picking up to succeed in the retail sector online; they have to leverage data for their benefit. To thrive in the new normal, they must be competitive and provide their targeted audience with the finest prices, content, assortment, and experience. Let’s go through five ways using which online pharma companies can use advanced data analytics to drive profitability and innovation in today’s retail:
Match Similar and Correct Products in the Real-Time
When purchasing their medications online, patients have huge information at their clearance and are ready to use that to have better deals for the medications they are searching for. In the era of comparison shopping, you can’t dictate pricing based on instinct or intuition. Using Machine Learning empowered price monitoring and product matching tools, you can recognize and make comparison against similar and precise products sold by competitors having 99% accuracy. You can take correct price decisions depending on historical and present pricing studies about competitive products. You should see your competitors’ pricing movements, track their price strategy, and take benefit of the breaches left behind.
Better Inventory and Assortment Management
Though pricing creates the foundation for all successful businesses to convert customers, you must also show the suitable varieties at the right time. You have to forecast demands to maintain optimal inventory levels and not overstock or out of stock any products. For that, you require data like historical, consumer, competitor, etc. With more insights into the markets and demands, you can plot your ranges and product accessibility depending on data analysis.
Tracking and Comparing Prices at Zip Code and Basket Levels
While selling prescription and OTC medicines and customer goods online, the changes' pricing relies on the charges and taxes every region charges on the items. With an intelligent pricing solution, you would compare competitors’ prices at the basket level. For better planning assortments, you could also make zip code-level tracking for analyzing which products your competitors provide in specific regions and which products are needed to stock. E.g., in the more rich area, certain expensive drug brands might be top-rated, while in a lower-income areas, generic, cheaper alternatives of that medicine might be trendy.
Provide Competitive Prices
Intelligent retail analytics solutions go beyond pursuing competitors’ prices. It helps draw insights from accessible data and proposes calculated recommendations with brilliant prices, which will convert customers and improve margins at the product level. It says when to decrease or increase prices. It helps you improve your margins and increase your conversion rate by optimizing pricing at the perfect time. You don’t need to offer deep discounts to provide competitive prices. Instead, you must leverage rule-based dynamic pricing strategies, which help you optimize the pricing in real-time.
Produce Superior Consumer Experiences
Patients today get well-informed and go the extra mile to understand their treatment and ailment options better. As per the survey, more than 85% of patients think they were assured of taking health responsibility and identified how to use online resources to help them. While dealing with such well-informed patients, the pharmacies require accurate data to offer better and more custom-made experiences and quality data.
Better Online Visibility
If patients cannot easily find products online, chances are they will become your competitors. Studies indicate that over 80% of customers don’t click the initial page of the search results. Your search result rankings and product visibility become essential to get found by the customers and improve conversion rate. Using advanced digital shelf analytics, it’s easy to track online performance, progress your content and improve keyword ranking, improve your listings with the right attributes and images, and improve digital shelf rankings.
Digital transformation has cleared the retail segment, and retail pharmacies are not excluded. With newer players entering the market and current eCommerce giants branching into the digital pharma sector, the future of online pharmacy looks promising if the pharmacies use the right technologies. Data & analytics will play a major role in getting market share, profitability, and customer experience to win consumers in the post-pandemic time.
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