The last time I went to the pharmacy, it seemed as if it was going to take forever just to receive my medicine. Behind the scenes, the pharmacist has to juggle between the doctors, insurance company, drug distributors and, of course, a frustrated patient. How can you, the pharmacist, leverage retail technology to improve the patient experience while increasing profit?
Here are six ways a drug store can use retail technology to enhance the patient experience:
- Speed up the checkout process.
What do you do when there’s a line full of customers, and a patient needs your help finding the best over-the-counter cold medicine? With the right POS system, your sales clerk should be able to quickly look up the product, tell the customer exactly where it is and how much it costs, and even check if the patient has any known allergies to that medication. The POS should also be able to handle the medicine, copay and general merchandise- all in a single transaction.
Suggestion: Acquire a POS with the ability to lookup product/customer information.
- Make sure your retail system is compliant.
Suggestion: Switch to a retail system that’s compliant out-of-box.
- Make it convenient for patients to get their Rx.
Let’s face it, when you’re not feeling well all you want is medicine and rest. Luckily, for those situations, there’s the “Home Delivery” or “Buy Online, Pick Up in Store” options. These options, which are being provided by more-and-more drug stores, allow patients to get medication without leaving their home, or dealing with other shoppers or long checkout lines.
Suggestion: Implement delivery/pick up options within your retail software.
- Personalize loyalty programs and other incentives.
With all the data you collect about customers, you should be able to personalize their shopping experience. For example, you can offer loyalty rewards to frequent shoppers, provide targeted coupons/promotions to top customers, and send personalized emails based on their brand preferences and past purchases. This will help increase repeat business, and reduce losing customers to the drug store down the block.
Suggestion: Leverage data within your retail software to offer personalized incentives.
- Maintain accurate inventory.
Whether replenishing drugs or general merchandise, or fulfilling an online order, customer satisfaction starts with having the products customers want. If you don’t carry a certain medication or product, or you just ran out, the consumer will go somewhere else and may not return.
Suggestion: Obtain an inventory management system that’s built into your retail software or is tightly integrated.
- Offer an online shopping experience.
While most pharmacies don’t have an E-Commerce site, it might be a great way for you to expand sales and differentiate. You can offer medication renewals online, and allow customers to purchase other merchandise in your store. Your website should integrate into your retail system so you don’t have to enter products twice. Also, as a medical provider, make sure your site follows ADA rules.
Suggestion: Build an E-Commerce website that integrates with your POS in real-time.CAM Commerce is a leading provider of retail management systems. Their pharmacy POS software, RetailSTARx, has helped many pharmacies operate more efficiently and grow their business. The system is HIPAA-compliant; interfaces with several wholesalers and dispensing systems (i.e., McKesson, Rx30, CarePoint, SuiteRx, Cardinal Health); has real-time integration to iSTAR for E-Commerce; offers in-store pickup and delivery options; includes loyalty reward programs; and much more. Download the RetailSTARx brochure today!
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