The Pharmacy Guild of Australia recently presented their major strategic planning project at their annual conference, Pharmacy Connect, to Australian pharmacies.
Called Community Pharmacy 2025, or CP2025, it outlines a recommended strategic vision and road map to achieve growth in community pharmacies and ensure their sustainability through to the year 2025 and beyond.
CP2025 is the outcome of large scale market research undertaken with pharmacy owners, staff, students, patients, and stakeholder engagement, and the results are just as relevant for New Zealand pharmacies as our neighbours across the ditch.
The Pharmacy Guild of Australia recommends nine pathways for growth in community pharmacy as part of CP2025. They include:
- Digital enablement
- Health services
- Community health hub
- Business operations
- In-home care
- Leverage brand
- Coordination, accreditation and partnerships
- New products
The first four are considered priorities and the first three being the most “attractive” for both pharmacies and consumers.
At Storbie, we’ve been working closely with the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand since 2016, and are focused on providing digital solutions for community pharmacies.
Named Supplier of the Year at the 2018 NZ Pharmacy Awards, our Pharmacy Supplier Network was created to make online as easy as possible, and we are the website platform recommended for pharmacies by the Guild.
In this article we look at how the CP2025 pathways relate to New Zealand community pharmacies and how Storbie can help you along the way.
Your community pharmacy needs a website. Having an online listing or social media account is no longer enough. You need a standalone site that you have immediate control over with easy editing capabilities.
Customers are actively looking for pharmacy information online, with a search growth of 18% in Q1 2018 compared to last year, according to Google.
With 1 in 4 New Zealanders identifying as having a disability, and New Zealand’s ageing population, accessibility is more important than ever.
Storbie has a range of website solutions for whatever level your pharmacy is at:
- Pharmacy brochure website
- Pharmacy product range website
- Pharmacy click and collect website
- Fully ecommerce enabled pharmacy website
For more information and to get connected, contact our sales team at email@example.com.
New Zealand pharmacies have had a focus on providing health services for some time. Flu shots, hearing tests, beauty tutorials and make overs, weight management, stop-smoking advice and plans, ear piercings and more.
As pressure comes from large discounters, as well as a change in consumer shopping styles and evolving technologies, services will be an important factor for community pharmacies going forwards.
Storbie encourages pharmacies to include information about all of your available services on your website. Provide as much information as possible, including how to book and which days are available.
Storbie is working on creating a booking system for pharmacy services. This is expected to be rolled out in 2020.
Some pharmacies are already located near other health services, like physicians, physiotherapists, dentists, and chiropractors, in order to create a community health hub for patients. But there’s more to a “hub” than just location.
If you have the space, consider inviting other health professionals to be onsite for set times within your pharmacy. These could be nutritionists, first aid trainers, or even having a doctor available once a week. All such benefits and the times they will be available should be listed on your website.
You could also host after-hours seminars on health issues relating to the community, with a regular events section listed online.
Storbie and the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand created PharmacyPlace, which is an online hub for community pharmacies. Here, consumers can find health information, products, and links to your pharmacy.
Not a Guild member? Contact the Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand to find out more.
It’s important for community pharmacies to make the most of assets and supply chain resources through efficient use. As online pharmacies grow in demand, more business opportunities are opening up.
We are working with CDC Pharmaceuticals to offer drop-shipping services to consumers for orders placed through pharmacy websites. Drop-shipping is a supply chain management method which would allow products to be delivered straight from a supplier to a purchaser, without you having to physically hold the stock, or worry about order fulfilment from your pharmacy.
The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand also has a number of resources and member benefits. Are you taking full advantage of their help? If not, set aside time weekly or monthly to look for new opportunities. This could be around training, business tools, or member discounts.
By increasing your use of automated processes, you’re allowing your staff to free up valuable time to focus on patients and consumers. Automated dispensing and packaging is a part of this, but you can even automate pricing and stock levels with your Storbie website by integrating with our Pharmacy Supplier Network and your POS system.
Sell a product in your pharmacy and it will automatically go out of stock on your site. Sell a product online and the purchase will be instantly visible within your POS system so you know to scoop it off the shelf before a walk-in customer wants to purchase it.
In order to connect further with your patients, your community pharmacy may choose to provide a range of health services to customers in their home, including a delivery service for your products.
One of the benefits of having a Storbie website is the option to be fully ecommerce enabled.
Customers can shop online where and when it suits them and have products delivered straight to their door. This takes the pressure off of more vulnerable consumers needing to travel to your pharmacy at a set time to shop for products that may or may not be in stock, or arranging for someone else to shop for them.
- Cheaper shipping rates
- Easy tracking and reporting
- Huge alliance of partners
- Print your own labels (no courier tickets to buy)
- Streamlined process
Creating your own-brand products to increase margins may not be a viable option for all pharmacies, but you can build your brand presence without too much extra effort.
Your Storbie website allows for integration with e-marketing to allow easy opt-in for customers to receive your newsletters.
Along with PharmacyPlace, Storbie has a number of online marketplaces that your community pharmacy can join to increase your discoverability.
Partnerships with other health services tie in well with the idea of a community health hub. The key to a great partnership is a clear understanding of what each party gets out of the relationship and then communicating the benefits to patients and consumers.
Partnerships may include doctors sending through prescriptions while they are still with a patient, so that it is filled and available to pick up on arrival to your pharmacy.
If you allow ecommerce on your Storbie website, talk to local health services about advertising your website so that patients can shop online while waiting for their appointment. This could include specials for the week, or a discount code. You could even offer a guarantee that products will be ready for pick up by the time they leave their doctor’s office!
Finally, extending your product range by connecting with suppliers can create new revenue streams and welcome new customers to your community pharmacy.
One of the benefits of the Storbie Pharmacy Supplier Network is the discovery of new suppliers and their products. Just because you don’t currently stock a supplier’s products, doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them and discuss making them available in your pharmacy.
Once connected to the Storbie Pharmacy Supplier Network, in the Manage area of your Storbie site, navigate to Suppliers and select Pharmacy Supplier Network. You’ll be able to see all available suppliers and click on each logo to see what products are available. By selecting Connect with Supplier, you’ll be sending a notification to the company that you want to sell their products online. If you don’t already have a relationship with the supplier, they will be in contact and can arrange for your pharmacy to become a stockist.
To get connected with Storbie and bring your pharmacy online, contact our sales team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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