Apps May Help Independent Pharmacies Cultivate Business

Today’s consumer is looking to connect with brands quickly, easily and on their platform of choice. We’ve discussed what that means for your social media presence, but have you considered how this translates to mobile platforms? Data from a Nielsen survey on mobile media time shows that 89% of consumer time spent on mobile is through app interaction. Mobile browsers and web searches account for the small 11%. What does this mean for your business?

It’s simple. Your customer wants simple. They want a one-tap app that connects them to your brand. It’s time to consider building your platform to compete with the big box stores. Here are 7 advantages that pharmacies with mobile apps can enjoy:

1. Give your patrons an enhanced customer experience.

Think about the apps on your phone that you enjoy. For me, it’s tools like Retail Me Not’s coupon app or Waze, which make it possible for me to navigate Atlanta traffic when I visit one of my daughters. These apps help me do 1 of 2 things, save money and save time.

That’s what a business app should do for the consumer.

Build an app that your customers enjoy. Give them tools to communicate with you directly. Help them save time by setting up prescription refill orders online. And help them save money by offering discounts and incentives that support your marketing plan.

One other unique tool an app provides is alternative payment options. As someone who frequently shops online, I love the easy purchase process PayPal provides. With an app, you can store card information or allow access to PayPal to make your customer’s experience that much easier.

2. Leverage a pharmacy app for easy marketing.

At the core of any business decision is revenue. An app gives you direct connection to your loyal customers. Unlike email, commercials, or even social media posts that may go unnoticed, push notifications tied to a mobile are hard to miss. According to Pew research, 90% of cellphone users say they “frequently” carry their phone with them. This is an extremely captive audience that your app can and will reach.

Build your mobile app into your marketing plan and push content that aligns with your current specials or promotions. Are you a retail pharmacy that needs to move an overstock of candles before the holidays? Push a note to your app users and offer a candle deal. Are you a compounding pharmacy that wants to encourage parents to use your store to make their child’s medicine into a more appetizing flavor? Use the data that an app provides to target your app users with children and watch the revenue roll in.

3. Enhance brand loyalty and build life-long customers.

Helping your consumers form a habit when it comes to filling their prescriptions means more business for you. An app can do that. The easier it is for customers to obtain their prescriptions with your company, the more likely they are to keep coming back. A mobile app is the perfect tool for your patrons to have on their phone. It makes for one-stop shopping experience which takes the stress off them. You can push reminders about refills, answers their questions and continue to provide the top-notch service that your store is know for, just on a mobile platform.

4. Stand out from the competition.

Chain retail pharmacies have apps that put low cost deals front and center for the consumer. Don’t get left behind. If you’re not already using a mobile app for your pharmacy, it’s time to stake your claim and start standing out. Work with an app developer to build an app that mirrors your website if you love the functionality and design, or use an app launch as an opportunity to rebrand and reevaluate what’s important to your customers. Remember that the key to a successful app is making it user friendly, intuitive and a resource for added value.

5. Increase brand recognition and gain customers.

An app will help keep your brand top of mind. With a cell phone in hand, each consumer that downloads your app will have easy access to your content. You’ll be able to push notifications that keep your pharmacy top of mind. A well-designed mobile app enhances access and makes your brand both thoughtful and reliable. This positive brand recognition can help with what is still a very important marketing stream for local pharmacies, word of mouth. Give your customers incentives to share the app with their friends and start to build your brand immediately.

6. Showcase your range of products and services.

Brochures and catalogs may be your current option to showcase what your pharmacy has to offer. But an app can take this to the next level. Similar to a website, you can pick different products or services to feature and change it up on a regular basis. Dynamic content is extremely important to keep customers engaged. You app can serve as library of products and services available at your pharmacy and make them easily available to your consumers with simple purchase options.

7. Learn more about your customers and identify trends.

One of the best things that a mobile app will bring your business is big data. Learn who your customers are, when and why they shop, and what they look at often but may not be committing to buy. This will help you draw insights to build a smarter more effective business strategy. Are most of the app users logging on for refills? What drives them to engage further? Following trends and identifying patterns can help you better understand your community. Survey customers about your app and website to continuously improve your engagement platforms and set your business apart from the pack.

Not ready for a mobile app?

If you’re not ready to take the plunge and build a mobile app you can still stay relevant on mobile. Work with your web developer to ensure your site is mobile friendly and built to be easily consumed on a mobile platform. While building an app is the best way to ensure your customers are connected, a strong, mobile-friendly website is a positive step in the right direction.