Author: Samantha

Elderly don’t use the internet, or do they?

Here’s something we hear a lot: “I don’t need a website because most of my customers are elderly, and don’t use the internet.” If you’re one of the pharmacy owners saying this, you might be surprised to learn that the reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Here’s why, and why that matters:

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Does a small town pharmacy need an online presence?

If you’re running a pharmacy in a smaller town, you may think that you don’t need a website. After all, you might be one of just a few pharmacists, so not only do the residents know about you, they also don’t have many alternatives when it comes to shopping for their medicine. 

Or do they? We’re going to bust some of these myths around small town pharmacies, and show why small town pharmacies need to be just as online as pharmacies in urban centres. Read on:  

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Prepare against discounters with an online strategy

Big discounters have arrived in the New Zealand pharmacy market. It’s been a long time coming, but now that they’re setting up shop next door, how prepared are you to compete?

We speak with Managing Director of First Retail Group Ltd, Chris Wilkinson, about the importance of an online strategy to help prepare against discounters.

Chris, we’ve seen discounters come into the market in other verticals. What affect can they have on established businesses?

Discounters are disruptors in that they shift consumer expectations, making it more challenging for established businesses to compete. Retailers must look to other ways of demonstrating their overall value proposition and widen their audience through new channels such as e-commerce.

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Consumers Don’t Buy The Way They Used To

We’re in a time of accelerating change.

Ten years ago, the only way for New Zealanders to get their hands on an iPhone was to import it from overseas and have a telco unlock it. Now over 70% of us own a smartphone.

Not unrelated, New Zealand is currently seeing a decline in people driving. There are around 100,000 less drivers now than in 2012. Fewer people under the age of 40 are learning to drive, with less teens on the road than those over 75 years of age.

These changes are just part of what is causing a significant shift in the way we shop. With access to the world in your pocket, why drive to a store, when the store can come to you?

Pharmacies are not immune, and need to adapt if they are to continue being relevant in this evolving market.

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What content does your website need to bring customers to your store?

Once you’ve decided to establish an online presence, it’s time to start thinking about what kind of content you’re going to have on your website. You can approach this in lots of different ways, but there are three main approaches

  • A bare bones approach – just your pharmacy’s name, address, opening hours and contact details.
  • A more detailed approach, with content about common pharmacy issues.
  • A full-blown online store, where people can find answers to their questions, and buy products from you, directly from your website.

To decide which approach to take, you need to think about what your customers need, how they engage with you, and which approach will best-help you to help them solve their problems. Here’s how:

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6 More Questions Every Pharmacy Owner Should Be Asking Their Website Partner

Last week, we went through six questions that pharmacists should be asking the company they work with when they build a website. Those six questions covered the basics to get your site up and running.  

Once you’ve worked through them, you’ll want to ask some more advanced questions. These questions are all about selling online and listing your products online. Even if you don’t intend on doing this any time soon, it’s worth having a discussion, just to lay the groundwork for the future.  

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Providing Health Advice In The Age Of Dr Google

When I was a teenager, if I had a health question, I’d go to mum. And if I didn’t want to ask mum about it, I wouldn’t ask anyone. It may not surprise you that we were regulars at A&E. 

These days, I can still ask mum, but my first port of call is “Dr Google”. 

And I’m not the only one. Whether we like it or not, more and more people are using search engines to self-diagnose. 

A quick search of your symptoms online is free, convenient, and for the most part: private. That’s important when the topic is embarrassing, sensitive or just plain uncomfortable to talk about with others. 

Google processes over 40,000 search queries every second on average, and according to Google’s health programme manager, one in 20 searches are health related, equating to 175 million searches each day. That’s a lot of people asking questions about their health. 

Results from a study released in July 2018 show that 80% of Internet users searched for a health-related topic online, up from 62% who said they went online to research health topics in 2001. 

Dr Google is here to stay. 

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The First 6 Questions Every Pharmacy Owner Should Be Asking Their Website Partner

It’s no secret that the internet is here to stay, and you’re starting to think about your options to get your pharmacy online to make the most of it. Here’s the thing: what now? How do you make sure you get a website that works for you, rather than the other way around?  

Lots of pharmacy owners choose to just outsource this task by partnering with a service provider. But outsourcing important work like this isn’t a matter of “out of sight, out of mind.” There are some questions you need to ask to make sure you’re getting the website you need to make your business thrive. Take a look:  

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Why Your Website Is Key For Succession Planning

Like many community pharmacy owners, you probably plan on selling your business to someone else when the time comes to hang up your white coat. This means that the price you get for your pharmacy is going to have a major impact on your standard of living. Naturally, you want to secure the best sell price you can for your business. 

What if there was one major lever you can pull, today, to make your pharmacy more valuable when it comes time to sell? There is, and our advice, if you’re not already, it’s time to get yourself established online. A website that makes it clear that you’re open for online business, helps to make your pharmacy a more attractive investment for a future buyer – and a better deal for you as the future seller. Here’s why:

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How to Compete with Big Discounters Online and Win

Meeting the needs of modern consumers can be a challenge for pharmacists. Big pharmacy discounters with powerful brand identities and huge advertising budgets can offer pharmacy goods at prices brick-and-mortar pharmacists struggle to even match – much less beat!  This challenge becomes even greater when you add the online discounters in the mix. Consumers can get low-priced healthcare and pharmacy goods delivered to their homes in a matter of days.  

Sometimes, it feels a bit bleak. But it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can hold your own competing online against the big players. You can get an edge by focusing on two things: your trusted and personalised expertise and the convenience you offer. Read on:

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