Pharmacies must work to attract new customers given the prevalence of pharmacies on the market.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 300,000 pharmacists worked in pharmacies in 2016, including traditional pharmacies, pharmacies in hospitals as well as mail order and online pharmacies and pharmaceutical wholesalers.
Interactions between customers and pharmacies will continue to grow as prescription drugs grow more complex and increasing numbers of individuals begin taking multiple prescription drugs, providing the perfect opportunity for attracting new customers.
Advertising to Target Audiences
Market your pharmacy to new customers by identifying target audiences for this marketing effort.
Consider placing advertising in nursing homes, doctors’ offices, human resources departments for large companies and neighboring businesses and health-related organizations.
Advertising can alert new customers to the pharmacy’s special offerings.
For example, consider incorporating a private “consultation room” for discussing sensitive pharmaceutical concerns with patients and then advertising this offering via newspaper, radio or other advertising platform.
Sales And Promotions
Attract new customers to the pharmacy with an offer of something special, including free health information, a free useful item, such as a paper fan during the summertime or reusable shopping bag, or discounts on health-related pharmacy items such as over-the-counter pain relievers, sunscreen or vitamins.
Another marketing idea to bring in new customers is to offer health care promotions where people can receive free health care screenings for blood pressure and cholesterol.
Gift cards for services, such as flu shots, can also be used to attract new customers, according to Samantha Timmerman at the Pharmacy Development Blog.
Merchandising And Display
Merchandising and displays can effective market to new customers, particularly in situations when the pharmacy is located within another retail store, such as a drugstore or grocery store.
Merchandising displays can attract new customers to the pharmacy to browse rather than just walking by.
Display products related to the theme being promoted, and include “shelf talkers” that activate to present health information when customers walk by.
Public Relations And Publicity
Outstanding customer service is another effective marketing technique.
When new customers approach the counter, avoid saying, “I’ll be with you in a minute.” Instead, offer a welcoming greeting and ask the customer’s name for future reference.
Be prepared to discuss health information with knowledgeable facts about pharmacy products.
Create promotional activity calendars for pharmacy events that may attract new customers.
Ideas include an “allergy season” presentation in the spring and information about diabetes before the winter holiday season, when patients may want information about enjoying the season’s delicacies without putting their health at risk.
Alert the media to these events for free publicity and possible coverage.
Digital and Online Presence
With so many customers (and potential customers) doing their shopping and health research online, it's important that your pharmacy has an online presence.
This can be in the form of a website, on social media services like Facebook or Twitter, on review services like Yelp, or all of the above.
Make sure your business is listed in online search services like Google Maps so that customers in your local community will see your business featured when they search for medicine-related information.