If you have concerns about the future of community pharmacies, you’ll be looking for solutions to ensure their longevity.
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.
Storbie is the award-winning solution and number one website platform used by New Zealand pharmacies. We work closely with the Pharmacy Guild to best understand what pharmacists need, to find web solutions to meet your specific digital requirements.
CP2025 is essentially a prescription for the health-betterment of community pharmacies.
In this article we take a look at the top 4 reasons to stay offline and why that could be at the detriment to your pharmacy.
“I don’t have time to manage a website or online orders”
A Storbie website takes less time to set up and maintain than you might think, and the “side effect” of online orders are a positive contributor for the health of your pharmacy, but they will take time. The increase for in-store sales will be felt first.
With Storbie, there’s no lengthy consultation to get started on your pharmacy website; just a few quick questions and a range of prescriptions for you to choose from:
- Pharmacy Brochure Website
- Pharmacy Product Range Website
- Pharmacy Click & Collect Website
- Full Ecommerce Pharmacy Website
Your Storbie pharmacy website is ready for all levels of ecommerce whenever you are, and is easily upgraded without hassle.
Your website set up is done for you. Storbie will set up the site’s design, graphics and content that reflect your pharmacy’s individual branding. Your online pharmacy will even have its own custom domain name. All you have to do is provide us with some specific details, a few images, and then click a button to activate the site and go live!
Content is easy to edit. A quick review of your website every month or two is all you need and you can easily update text and images yourself. No coding or technical knowledge is required. Need some extra help? Storbie has helpful online articles and our support team is knowledgeable regarding pharmacy requirements, and on hand when you need us.
Maintaining your product catalogue is easier than ever. With the Storbie Pharmacy Supplier Network, all you have to do is connect with suppliers and choose the products you want to sell online. They’ll then magically appear in your store. And if you have POS integration it’s even easier. Find out more about the Supplier Network for pharmacies here.
Sales take time. If you are wanting an ecommerce solution, there’s no need to worry about making extra time to monitor your website and sale orders. Your online sales will start as a manageable trickle rather than a flood. And you can always choose to showcase your products without enabling ecommerce to begin. Read more about the benefits of a catalogue website here. Additionally, CDC is considering an ecommerce order fulfilment service with Storbie that would drop ship orders directly to your customers.
“I already have a pharmacy listing”
Your pharmacy may already have a listing with basic information on a website. While that’s a good start, the information available to your customers is likely to be limited (name, contact details and hours only) and will be managed by a third party of which you’ll have very little control over.
By not having your own standalone website, your customers could be provided incorrect information or even be directed to your competitors.
Even if you’re not selling online, your Storbie website is an opportunity to showcase your products and services, which helps your community pharmacy stand out from competitors. Services are especially important to highlight online as a way to combat discounters and further build relationships with the community as an “essential business”.
Having your own website also increases your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) allowing you to be found more easily by consumers. Strong SEO is important for your community pharmacy to be visible online, pushing your website to the top of online searches.
“I’ve had a website before and it didn’t work”
Times have changed, and technology is constantly evolving. Customers don’t shop like they used to, and websites need to be mobile friendly, load quickly, and offer a range of options for them. For business owners, they need to provide statistics, marketing, and flexibility. Storbie can help with all of this.
Storbie websites use responsive design so that your website looks great on any platform, whether that’s desktop, tablet, laptop or mobile. You can read more about our features here.
Google analytics integration gives you access to see when and how many people are visiting your website, what they’re looking at, and how long they’re staying.
We have additional resources such as the Guild’s PharmacyPlace which provides another avenue to gain visibility and sales through a dedicated pharmacy marketplace.
And Storbie works closely with the Guild to constantly find new ways to improve the online experience for community pharmacists. We are committed to helping community pharmacies succeed.
“My customers don’t use the internet”
A website is now part of a prescription for community pharmacies. Did you know that 88% of Australians and 89% of New Zealanders are active internet users?
More than 250,000 Storbie users are over the age of 55, with almost 95,000 of those aged 65+. According to the 2013 Census, 24% of New Zealanders identify as having a disability. In Australia there are 4.3 million people estimated to have a disability. Having an accessible website to allow customers to search for products online, order and pick up in store, or order to have delivered to their home is advantageous. Read more about accessibility here.
Statistics from Google show an 18% search growth for pharmacies in New Zealand in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year. Australia Post are predicting that 1 in 10 items will be bought online by 2020.
And according to Statistics NZ, spending at domestic online stores has been growing at a faster rate than spending at overseas sites. Consumers are actively looking to shop online from local businesses, including pharmacies.
Start on the pathway to digital enablement
As mentioned above, Storbie has different levels to bring you onto the online ladder.
Improve business efficiency by providing customers with information about your products and services with a ready-built catalogue website that’s ecommerce ready when you are.
To get connected with Storbie and bring your pharmacy online, contact our sales team at email@example.com.
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