Is online more attractive than offline when it comes to pharmacy business? Epharmacy business is humongous and has the capacity to cater to a larger chunk of the audience than the physical stores. It is changing the traditional way the pharmacy business is handled and is driving the business model towards a patient-centric healthcare model.
The reasons for this online shift are pretty obvious and known to all. Reason one, people find it really difficult to take time out specially for visiting the doctor or buying medicines. Reason two, the whole world is suffering from the pandemic situation because of Coronavirus, and the solution to it strictly emphasizes on purchasing things online to avoid any kind of exposure. Reason three, the convenience of getting medicines at the doorstep, is specially beneficial to old age people and disabled persons. Reason four, users love the deals and discounts available at the online store.
Adding to the same thread of reasons, Epharmacy applications become a savior in times of emergency when the medicines are not available at the nearest store. In simple words, customers admire the one-tap procedure that connects them to the pharmacy of their choice. If you own a pharmacy store and wish to take it online, read this blog, and find ways to survive the competitive healthcare market.
Technology advancement has led people to seek another level of comfort from applications. They have started believing in the process, “receive things right here, and now”. A survey conducted by Nielsen suggests that 89% of customers spend their time over applications.
Another research done in 2020 shows that around 4.57 billion people use the internet regularly. This means that you need to make a shift from brick-and-mortar stores to online pharmacies quickly.
A well-designed online pharmacy store is a great way to improve customer relationships and let your business stand out from the competitors. By leveraging modern technology in your application, customers can refill their prescriptions and buy medicines at their convenience.
Here is the highlight of the benefits you will get by developing your own pharmacy application.
A larger customer base;
Increase in profit;
Receiving user feedback;
Advanced marketing strategies;
Improved user experience.
Let’s have a closer look at the benefits of having an online pharmacy store:
Engage with a larger customer base:
The medicine delivery app comes handy for the users. It lets the customer come closer to you, where they can communicate seamlessly with the application. If your specially designed application can satisfy their needs, they will likely come back to the application and make a purchase.
On top of that, they will recommend the application to a friend or a relative, which, in a way, adds on to your marketing. The more the number of interactions on the app, the more sales you can expect. You can customize the shopping experience for users and thereby gain maximum online traffic.
Get recognized in the market:
In current times, it is a fact that if your business is not online, you will lose the game. No matter how powerful your physical drugstore is, customers will double-check the identity over the search engines.
Being online has become a new way of authenticating businesses. Develop a mobile application with a cool interface embedded with store pictures, logo, and basic details. Once you develop an application keeping the SEO perspective in mind, you have a higher chance of getting recognized in the market.
Indirect marketing and promotion:
We all know that once a business gets started, you need to spend extra money on marketing. However, if you go online, you can very well study your customer base and market product accordingly. You get a brilliant platform where you can advertise your drugstore and improve upon customer experience.
Increase in business revenue:
It is no brainer that an online store has better market recognition than a physical store in every aspect. If you bring your pharmacy store online, you can drive more customers towards it. By providing unique and customized services, you open your business to endless opportunities. A satisfied customer will always choose your application over the other. Thus you will observe an increase in business revenue.
Get a competitive advantage:
As mentioned above, you get a competitive edge in the market once you bring your store online. You can serve your customers 24*7 irrespective of their location and thus earn a name in the market. People will trust you more based on your service, and this will ensure your top spot leaving behind the competitors.
Ensure constant improvements:
Be it in terms of sales or services, the feedback feature in an application facilitates you with the customers’ reviews. Also, you can take the help of analytical tools to understand customer’s behavior. This way, you constantly work towards upgrading the application and ensuring constant improvements in the business model.
Advertise your products:
As we all know, visuals in the app appeal more to the customers. Upload pictures of the products and the brands you store online. Post the pictures on social media along with relevant product information and gather customer’s attention. You can add a personal touch to advertising and convert more customers over the application.
Provide high-level patience assistance:
By including a variety of features in your healthcare app development, you can provide customers with ample services. Be it refilling the prescription, connecting with the doctor, or chatting with a healthcare professional?
The amazing pharmacy app features would serve the customers in every possible way and even allow customers who are staying in remote locations to connect with the doctor. A well-designed pharmacy app enhances your capabilities of serving patients in a significant way. Remember how apps like Netmeds.com and Practo are helping their customers.
We hope that you are convinced that there is an urgent need for your pharmacy business to move online.
In the next section, we will describe the ways in which you will move forward with your pharmacy app development. Keep reading…
Now that you have a confirmed business idea in mind, the next step is to ensure its implementation. For the perfect implementation of the app idea, follow the below-mentioned steps. We have come up with this procedure once we succeeded in developing an application named Tonic. We succeeded in providing a hassle-free medicine delivery application, and you can check our workfolio of Medical Delivery App Solution
Step 1: Chart out a business plan:
It is highly recommended to map out the business requirements beforehand and then initiate the mobile app for pharmacies development. It is essential to know what your pharmacy business will deliver and how you wish to deliver. Analyze the competitors and pen down their success strategies. Do a lot of research before you take a step forward in the app development.
Some frequently asked questions about pharmacy business planning are:
What will be the cost of developing pharmacy apps?
There are various costs involved when it comes to the pharmacy delivery app, which includes the cost of development, medical insurance, license acquisition, legal expenses, advertisement costs, salary distribution, and other administrative costs.
The cost of development could fall between $4000 to $10,000, depending on the features and functionality you incorporate into the application. The medical insurance charges can fall between the range of $10,000 to $14,000. Other miscellaneous expenses may add up to the cost.
What is the business model of online pharmacy?
Online pharmacies earn money by charging an amount over the cost of the drug bought from the wholesale. If the “speak to the doctor” or “book an appointment with the doctor” is incorporated in the app, then you can ask for a share.
Additionally, you can also markup a prescription drug based on demand and location. You can calculate the amount covered typically for each drug. You can make a significant amount of profit by defining the costing of each of the processes.
You can also go for premium subscription services, where a person with premium membership gets a direct appointment with the licensed doctor. Or they can have a more personalized treatment within the application.
Who is the target audience?
If you plan to make an app like 1mg, consider people of every age group as your target audience. However, you can expect people aging between 20 years to 55 years to be a part of this. The reason being, they are the ones who are comfortable using mobile applications to serve the purpose.
Step 2: Define the business structure and form a legal entity:
The next step is to complete the legal procedures and register your business with the state’s government entities. You should take help from an authorized agent who would be responsible for taking care of the compliance. Take the necessary advice for protecting privacy and the rules.
Step 3: Open a business account:
It is advisable to keep personal and professional expenses separate from each other. Hence, it is recommended that you open a separate business account where you will manage the business expenses.
This way, you will protect your personal assets and also have all your business expenses in one place.
Step 4: Obtain the necessary licenses:
Setting up an online pharmacy business is not a cakewalk. You need to take care of federal rules and comply with every regulation laid down by the government. You have to apply for various permits and licenses before you actually start selling the drugs online. Check with the local and state rules and then move forward with the business.
This will lay the foundation for your pharmacy delivery application, now let’s look into the features of the application.
Collect all the necessary information from the user, including their address, name, phone number, and preferences. This will help you in giving a personalized experience to them in the future.
Allow the user to browse through various products and their prices. Users can check the details of the medicines, prices, and the manufacturer of the drug.
This has become an inevitable feature for the application of any type. Users should be allowed to run a smart search based on their preferred location, drug type, equipment type, doctor type, and more.
Rather than manually entering the drug name, users will prefer to upload the doctor’s prescription. This will come handy specifically for times when the user needs to order a drug immediately, but the prescription is unavailable.
Blogs and drug information:
Blogs are a great way to engage customers on the application. You can chart out a schedule for blog publishing and promote your application. For blog topics, try to cover useful drug-related articles, health advice, doctor’s advice, or updates about your pharmacy.
You can also make a separate section for antibiotic drugs, antiallergic drugs, etc., and have detailed information about that particular drug. Users can refer to this section to find out the benefits, side effects, or any other peculiar information they need with regards to the application. Allow them to scan the barcode and directly jump to that particular drug information.
There are scenarios where a user would like to compare two drugs in order to find a substitute for the prescribed one. In such times, allow the user to run a comparison between the two drugs and check for availability and effectiveness.
Do not forget to include this incredible feature of prescription refilling in your pharmacy delivery application.
Once you have decided to take your pharmacy online, make sure that you include an online payment option. Integrate various payment gateways in the app and allow the customer to pay for the services taken. Allot them a cart where they can add the drugs they want and guide them through the checkout. Online payments are a great alternative to long queues at the physical store.
Once the user has placed the order and completed the payment procedure, allow them to track their order. This will help them to know where their order is at a specific time and when they can expect the delivery.
In our medicine delivery app project named Tonic, we included a smart notification feature. This feature reminds users about the medicine intake time, prescription refill, any specific discount or coupon code, and more.
Push notification also notifies the user about the availability of a particular drug they have been looking for. You can also inform your user about a promotion or discount scheme going on over the store.
Reviews and feedbacks:
A happy customer will always want to leave behind feedback and willingly share their shopping experience with them. And in the same way, an unsatisfied customer will want to report an issue and bring it in the eyes of the admin. Allow both the types to share feedback on the application.
If your application features doctors’ consultation, then you need to include in-app chat features. By using this, the user can get in direct touch with the doctor and contact them through messages.
Now let’s talk about the admin-centric features:
Admin holds the highest authority and responsibility when it comes to managing an online pharmacy application. An app administrator has to manage content, employees, drug data, and other similar functions.
It is quite tedious to handle all the incoming and outgoing records of drugs manually. Hence an inventory management feature is a must in a pharmacy delivery app. It assists the admin in keeping up the records of incoming medicines, the number of sales, drugs left in the stock, price changes, etc.
An order management system in place facilitates seamless administration of the orders placed by the users. It precisely allows the administrator to handle every order placed using the app and monitor the same if required.
For any business, customers are next to God. Might sound cliche, but for admin, it is of utmost importance to see and ensure that their customers have a good user experience. Customer management allows the admin to collect necessary information from the user, and treat them personally as and when required.
Payments and offers:
Admins have access to all the payments made through the app. Admin can check the payment history whenever necessary, and release offers on the products if required. The admin will moderate every single change in price.
Admin is responsible for publishing or updating information in the app about the company or a drug. Admin holds the responsibility to answer the questions asked by the users.
Logistic management is a critical feature of an online pharmacy delivery application. The admin takes the responsibility to manage orders and its delivery so that a drug is delivered at the exact location within the decided timeframe.