Are you wondering how to increase foot traffic to your pharmacy? Winning the loyalty of customers can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. With a strong online presence, inviting store-front appearance, and excellent customer service, your pharmacy can begin to see a significant increase in customers and sales. The following best practices for increasing foot traffic can help you get started.
First you must:
- Choose the right location
- Analyse your target audiences
- Create a store that suits your customers’ needs
- Add value
Here are some factors to consider.
The right location
- How competitive is the location?
- Are you anchored by a medical centre or hospital?
- How visible is your store?
- Is there adequate parking nearby?
- What is the volume of foot traffic and is this guaranteed in the long term? Ie. what lease arrangements are in place with major shopping destinations such as Woolworths or Coles?
- What are the ages and stages of the people who live within 5km of your store?
- What are their requirements?
- What is their capacity to spend?
- Do they want scripts only, advice or services?
- Have you spoken with local GPs to understand the type of medical conditions in the area?
- Have you talked to other retailers, allied health professionals or your local medical association to understand the profile of your area?
The right type of store
- Do you need a ‘hole in the wall’ script dispensary, large store with multiple services and zones, a franchise outlet, an independent family store or a budget store?
- What will work best in your local area?
- What is the most profitable model for you?
- What functionality does your store require?
- How much space do you need?
- What technology will you require?
- How much access will your pharmacists have with your customers?
- How quickly will you be able to dispense medication?
- What other services / advice can you offer?
- What will create repeat purchase and visits to the store?
- What convenience products can you offer to increase the value of each transaction?
5 Proven way to increase foot traffic to your retail pharmacy
1 – Increase curb appeal
Your store’s curb appeal is a make or break factor when it comes to foot traffic. Smart retailers recognize this, and they invest a ton of effort into making their storefronts more attractive. We highly suggest you do the same. Below are some immediate steps you can take to improve the look and feel of your storefront:
- KEEP THINGS TIDY AND DON’T SKIMP ON MAINTENANCE
- ADD CURBSIDE “EXTRAS”
- MAKE SURE ASSOCIATES LOOK BUSY
2- Offer superior services and experiences
Getting people through the door is just the first step. What gets shoppers coming back (and what increases your foot traffic in the long term) is providing exceptional services and experience once customers are inside.
Here are a few ideas:
- OFFER COMPLEMENTARY SERVICES
- HOLD RELEVANT CLASSES OR Workshops
- INVEST IN EMPLOYEE TRAINING
3- Work with influencers and brand ambassadors
Identify social influencers and brand ambassadors in your space and see if they can help you increase store traffic. Tamer AlMasri, the co-founder and CEO of apparel store Jobedu, says that they work with local community brand ambassadors to drive traffic to their locations.
According to Tamer, they’ve set up referral systems that reward brand ambassadors for talking up their company.
4- Leverage digital tools to drive physical traffic
When used correctly, digital tools can be huge drivers of offline traffic. If you haven’t done so yet, start cooking up online initiatives to help increase traffic to your physical locations. Here a few ideas:
- CLICK AND COLLECT : Offer click-and-collect services in your stores. Such initiatives will not only get people to your physical location, but they can potentially increase sales in the process.
- EMAIL : Do you have any in-store promotions going on? Got an event coming up? Keep your customers posted via email. Mention the perks of showing up in-store, such as exclusive offers that can only be redeemed on-site.
- Hold events: Hosting events is one of the best ways to get people to head to your store because they offer experiences attendees won’t find online or in other shops.
5- Use search and social to your advantage
Like it or not, people are spending more time online. Now, you can complain about how the Internet is driving people away from physical stores, or you can leverage digital tools and use the web to your advantage.
Needless to say, we recommend that you do the latter. Here are few online tactics to start with:
- GET LISTED ONLINE: Retailers should “actively manage local profiles with a platform like Yext and Yelp, to ensure that all location information is accurate, enhanced and contains relevant calls to action,” shares Dan Golden of BFO (Be Found Online).
- LEVERAGE GOOGLE’S LOCAL INVENTORY ADS: When a nearby customer conducts a Google search for a product that you happen to have in a local store, Google will include that item in its search results.
When users click on your listing, “they arrive on a Google-hosted page for your store, called the local storefront. Shoppers use the local storefront to view in-store inventory, get store hours, find directions, and more.”
- EXPLORE SOCIAL MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES: Kelly Ehlers, founder and president of Ideas That Evoke, encourages retailers to use social media to their advantage. One way to do this is to use Facebook ads.“Utilize Facebook Offer Ads to incentive patrons to come into your brick and mortar business. You can track how many people have claimed the offer and then also track in store how many people came in with the offer code from social media,” says Kelly.
Not too enthusiastic about ads? Then at the very least, you need to keep your social accounts active with updates and interesting tidbits.
“Regularly post on your social media account to showcase the cool things your business is doing in the community and peak customers’ interest,” adds Kelly. “For example, are you doing any charity or community events? Do you have specials going on in store? Are you partnering with another local business? These are all good content to showcase on social!”