The local pharmacy probably doesn't factor into most consumers' holiday shopping plans. In fact though, the pharmacy can be a great source for gifts – especially stocking stuffers – and an important source of revenue for the pharmacy.
Pharmacists already understand the important contribution OTC medicines and products make to their bottom line. According to the Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA), the average U.S. household spends about $442 each year on OTC products. But savvy pharmacists can look beyond sales of OTC medications and devices and position themselves as viable sources for holiday gifts.
The internet is full of lists providing helpful suggestions for "top stocking stuffers" and "great last minute gift ideas." A quick review reveals that many of these products are available in most pharmacies. Does your pharmacy stock any of these items?
- Ice Scrapers
- Personal care items including lotions and shampoos
- Personal-size tissue packages
- Pill organizers
- Gift cards
- Toys and puzzles
- Books and magazines
- Gloves and hats
Chances are your pharmacy stocks many of these items. Which means your pharmacy is already a great source for holiday shopping. The key though, is spreading the word and making your patients aware of your inventory.
How to do that? Well, here are a few suggestions, several of which involve capabilities offered by the PrimeRx™ pharmacy management system.
- Improve in-store visibility. Create a "holiday display" that prominently features potential stocking stuffers and gifts. Put the display at the front-of-the store, near the registers so patients will be drawn to it. You should also consider allocating a few endcaps to holiday promotions. Make sure displays are replenished throughout the day and kept tidy and appealing.
- Use Pointy from Google to promote your inventory. "Pointy from Google" allows a pharmacy's OTC products to show up in their local Google search results. This innovative solution allows pharmacies to create a catalog–called a "Pointy Page"– that features all consumer and OTC products. Whenever a Google search is initiated for any of those products, the pharmacy will appear as a retail option. This drives new traffic into the pharmacy and increases product sales. PrimeRx™ allows direct integration with Pointy from Google, right from the home screen.
- Email/Text patients. Pharmacies can take advantage of the PrimeRx™ system's advanced communications capabilities to promote their holiday offerings. Emails and texts can be programmed to arrive in patients' in-boxes at pre-set intervals. Notifications from the pharmacy can have the added benefit of reminding patients to refill or pickup their medications!
- Loyalty programs. Link purchases of your "holiday must haves" to your pharmacy's loyalty program. Perhaps offer addition points for purchases of specific products, or offer products at a reduced price. PrimeRx™ allows pharmacies to create and manage a loyalty program, within PrimeRx™. This means there is no need for additional software. In addition, the PrimePOS™ point-of-sale module allows pharmacies to easily make price adjustments. And when a sale is over, PrimePOS™ returns the product to its pre-sale price.
- Inventory tracking. Pharmacies will need real-time visibilty into sales activity. PrimeRx™ allows store managers to monitor sales, with activity reports generated on an hourly/daily/weekly basis, based on the manager's preference. This high level of visibility includes sales volume of fast-moving items, and also identifies sales laggards. Pharmacy managers can monitor inventory levels for all products, and place orders for additional products as needed.
Pharmacies can be a great source for last-minute gifts and stocking stuffers, With a little resourcefulness and creativity, pharmacists can remind patients of their offerings, and spread a little holiday cheer in the process!