1. Market and clientele research
There are 5 types of customers we need to study:
◦ Those who buy many parapharmaceutical products
◦ Ordinary patients who buy drugs
◦ Those who love natural products
◦ New mothers
◦ The funs of aesthetics.
At the same time, you have to divide the clientele by age group, by type of dermatological or aesthetic problem (acne, wrinkles, etc) and by profile: middle-class clients who can spend money for their beauty and you can direct them towards premium brands, or more conservative customers who just want the most basic and economical products.
After recording them with numbers, you will be able to make your choice of brands, but also to display them in the appropriate places in the pharmacy.
2. Selection of products based on the needs of your customers
Don’t forget that approximately 70% of our turnover comes from medicines, and from the rest 30% the category of cosmetics occupies the largest part!
Our customers and their needs are the ones who will guide us in choosing brands, which should be based not only on their reputation, but also on brands that differentiate us in the region and attract customers from other distribution channels as well.
3. Study the competition from the other distribution channels
The competition is strong, especially today when the super market delivers cosmetics heavily advertised and with very low prices. It is the channel that together with e-commerce is constantly gaining place in the market.
So, in order to meet your customers' requirements for very low price in cosmetics, there are 2 solutions that are both based on highlighting your scientific profile.
The first one is to develop a production of cosmetics in your own laboratory (shampoos, moisturizers, hand creams etc.) and the second one is to choose a cosmetics brand not so well known, but with very economical prices and support it with reliable arguments.
4. Look for innovations by following market trends
Natural products, rich in plant extracts or even organic ingredients, free of chemical impurities, have gained a large share in recent years.
Innovations, on the other hand, do not stop and companies are constantly enriching their existing brands or redefining their image according to the new trends.
Certainly, a pharmacy and especially if it is a neighborhood one with small turnover, cannot have it all.
So when choosing brands, the best way is to have a dermatological cosmetics brand with selected items and a beauty cosmetics brand that is well known.
Alternatively, you can work with a new brand not so well known, in order to have better margins.
5. Emphasize education
In order to recommend the right product to the right customer, you and your team need to be educated on the products, but also on the specifics and problems of the skin.
Most companies have special training programs that are carried out either in groups, or in your pharmacy, or remotely (webinars).
Remember that always your well-documented advice is that differentiates you from the competition and not just the price.
Diagnosing the customer's needs with questions, proposing the right product and by giving them advices how to use it, are necessary steps for every transaction with the customer.
In fact, if you have the opportunity, you can hire a permanent or part-time beautician who will deal with all the parapharmaceuticals at the same time.
If he/she is good in communication skills, you will see your sales increased.
6. Emphasize complementary sales
Knowing well the usual problems and needs of the skin, as well as all the products you have, you can always suggest something complementary to increase the effectiveness of the basic product, for a more obvious result.
For example, always suggest a deep-action serum together with any moisturizer or anti-aging cream.
If your client complains of skin sensitivity, suggest a thermal water spray for relief. There are so many ways to highlight your knowledge and especially to suggest the most beneficial product for your customer.
Also, do not forget to place the appropriate nutritional supplements for the skin, hair, menopause, as well as aromatherapy products, such as essential oils, close to the cosmetics shelf, in order to easily make additional suggestions.
7. Play the win-win game with your suppliers
The success here lies in communication tools available from your companies-suppliers such as promoters, events, sample distribution, gifts, showcase, stands etc.
If you properly use all these and at the same time, having your team always motivated, the success is given.
8. Make a promotional plan
Throughout your marketing strategy, avoid competing with similar products from different brands.
Avoid to propose 2 or 3 similar products, because you will fall into a trap and the customer will ask you which one is the best.
For example don’t put an offer in all anti-aging creams in the same time. It is best to make a promotional plan each month, based on 3-4 fast-moving products of different brands and different functions (eg a shampoo, a moisturizer, a baby cosmetic, a body moisturizer etc).
So your customers will know that every month there is an offer in your pharmacy.
For your commercial proposal, it is important not only have price discounts, but also to offer free products.
9. Pay special attention to the children's cosmetics category
Although births in Greece have been declining in recent years, and especially with the economic crisis and unemployment plaguing mainly large urban centers, child and baby skin care still remains a family priority.
New mothers can be deprived of themselves needs and get what they need for their child.
Their requirements are mainly quality and safety and they always prefer well-known brands with reputation.
The products they usually buy are cleansers and products for diaper rush and irritations, as well as for classic hygiene and care.
Undoubtedly, the competition is strong, mainly from super markets and e-pharmacies and the big game here is the price.
So what is better to do? Emphasize in commercial offers, promotions, gifts, and purchase through a loyalty card, but mainly in diagnosis, advice and customer approach.
10. And… Do not forget men!
Men's beauty care may be a small part in pharmacy sales, but more and more men nowadays take care of their skin.
Although most of them use cosmetics from their women, but their needs are different, especially in shaving or in hair loss or acne problems.
And some special tips
• Take advantage of a renovation or relocation of your pharmacy to rearrange your shelves and furniture in general.
Change always impresses the customer and increases his purchases.
• Find the right balance between the well-known products that make the turnover and the products that require special advice.
• The shelves marking must be done with attractive words but also keep a harmony of messages and colors.
• Have a specialist in skincare in your team.
• Organize events in cooperation with brands, while creating the appropriate showcase and the appropriate information leaflets.
E.g. the week for sun protection, or for sensitive skin.
• Do not neglect to give samples of one or two other products in every sale.
• Set goals in your promotion and measure the result.