Ever since the creation of ePharmacies, the COVID-19 pandemic posed the perfect mixture to accelerate a new era of ePharmacies growth, hastening their adaptation across the globe, despite the fact that delivery efficiency and convenience had already gained importance in the previous several years. But how can they actually succeed in this ever-changing, competitive environment?
How is the Current ePharmacy Landscape Shaping?
Nowadays, ePharmacies provide consumers with a convenient and confidential option to purchase prescription (Rx) and over-the-counter (OTC) medications, typically at a lower cost. While the COVID-19 pandemic seized the world and social distancing was the preferred method of operation, Internet sales of pharmaceuticals increased by over 800%. This massive growth during the lockdown times drew the global ePharmacy business to be predicted to exceed $131 billion in revenue by 2025, as online sales of OTCs pharmaceuticals, Rx drugs, and para-pharmaceutical products have increased dramatically in the last year.
The main drive behind consumers’ turn towards online shopping and ePharmacies can be summed in one word: convenience.
“I want to spend as little time and energy as possible interacting with my pharmacy.”
What can the players in an ever-expanding ePharmacy ecosystem do to keep up with the never-ending competition? Keep reading to find out!
What should ePharmacies do to skyrocket their business?
Due to technological advancement and overcoming a pandemic, pharmacy’s future will look very different from what it is now. Here are 5 areas that you should consider in order to increase your ePharmacy’s competitive advantage.
Telemedicine promotes both health and convenience. As this business is constantly growing, by 2025, the worldwide telemedicine sector is anticipated to be worth $80 billion. When it comes to ePharmacies, telemedicine may be a cost-effective way to increase pharmacist services in nursing homes and improve resident care. Furthermore, telemedicine services are being added to the business proposals of an increasing number of ePharmacies around the world, beginning with behemoths like CVS Health and Walgreens in the United States.
Medication management is one of the most significant advantages of telemedicine. Instead of driving to the doctor’s office, patients can consult with a doctor or another healthcare provider via virtual visits. During a virtual session, an online doctor can usually provide them with a new prescription or a medication refill. The patient can then obtain his or her medication immediately through the ePharmacy platform, saving time and making life easier.
Creating a seamless digital pharmacy experience hand-in-hand with providing the highest level of services to patients are the keys of winning in today’s pharmacy sector.
Telemedicine’s contribution to your ePharmacy’s sales growth, which we assure you will be significant, can be simply tracked using a data and analytics platform. You should also consider employing an AI-powered tool to track and assess your digital shelf performance and how clients interact with your products after receiving their telemedicine advice, build consumer personas and understand their behavior to plan your future strategy.
2. Last Mile
Delays and bottlenecks in the supply chain put the timely delivery of meds at risk. ePharmacies are hurrying to develop new technologies and test-driven supply chain models to increase the number of parcels, speed up delivery, and satisfy customers. Quick fulfillment and distribution, however, are no longer just “nice to haves” for ePharmacies.
Quick delivery services are essential for a satisfying online shopping experience and need to be given top priority.
Additionally, Q-Commerce platforms that enable deliveries in 10 to 20 minutes are expanding 20% – 25% quicker in volume than those that support deliveries in four hours or more. The Indian ePharmacy sector, in particular, is already thriving, with five ePharmacy businesses already operating in the last mile services sector. Throughout the pandemic, the use of logistics technology has assisted in providing retail solutions despite social and physical constraints, enabling patients to acquire their medications and other pharmaceutical products.
As it becomes evident, investing in the most cutting-edge delivery technology is essential if you want to thrive. As eCommerce gains more ground, the number of orders continually increases, adding to the stress on the issue.
3. Digital Influencers
The pharma sector is increasingly using social media as an influencing tool. Many pharmacists have also entered this field, giving rise to a new, unconventional position for pharmacists on social media (PSMIs).
To humanize consumers’ online experiences, certain ePharmacies, like Drogaria São Paulo, a Brazilian-based ePharmacy, have brought a 100% digital AI-powered influencer, named “Céu“, to the market in addition to traditional digital human influencers. The online influencers will also discuss topics of interest to everyone currently trending, communicating with other influencers and brand supporters.
You may track the sales directly and indirectly influenced by the influencer actions your ePharmacy is carrying out by using a platform for monitoring marketing activations, such as the one we can provide you with our AI-powered eRetail Suite.
Nowadays, many clients are concerned and have several questions. With a chatbot, you can easily enlighten them. These chatbots are capable of answering any question as they are the ideal information base. As a result, the interactions increase engagement and revenue. Furthermore, with a Health bot, clients can easily order their prescribed medications and browse your store.
Pharmacies will benefit greatly from the use of a chatbot. From providing 24/7 support to answering practically any question!
5. Data Monetisation
Data analytics is a key component of what retailers and brands employ to improve product performance, raise conversion rates, and boost sales. However, while most online brands and retailers understand the importance of data analysis, much fewer understand another crucial part of data analytics: sharing their unique data with one another. Nowadays, price inflation is raging just after the pandemic subsided; read our previous blogpost to discover how Data Monetisation for Retailers is their life jacket against price inflation.
The key driver for this improved collaboration between retailers and brands is data analytics, and the technologies currently available to trading partners enable strategic information sharing to better build and manage consumer demand.
The entire healthcare system requires access to diverse datasets for knowledge exchange and open communication. Customers are a goldmine of information, especially as more transactions move online. Understanding their characteristics, habits, and expectations contributes to the development of goods and the entire customer experience. For example, according to a VentureBeat article, UK-based Boots is providing customers with an omnichannel experience and mass personalization of services leveraging their data.
How can ePharmacies and brands work together to share data?
ePharmacies may aggregate and analyze acquired data by combining them to make more accurate estimates and then share this information with their suppliers. This way, companies that obtain data on poor product sales, for example, during a specific time of year or in a particular region can more quickly detect and fix possible issues.
Additionally, Brands from their side, should request tailored data sets on the sales success of each product from ePharmacies. They can then send the data to selected ePharmacies to compete for local customers after segmenting the data.
Due to security concerns, it’s logical that some ePharmacies may be hesitant to share any kind of data with brands. The best method to overcome these security concerns and embrace supplier transparency is unquestionably by using a secure platform for efficient data flow between the two sides.
Since ePharmacies possess the power of information, having all this data offers them great power. Brands are yearning for these insights. By disclosing these data, you can open up a new revenue stream for your ePharmacy known as “Data Monetisation.”
Convert Group: The key to unlock your Data Monetisation success
Seeing how global trends affect the future of eCommerce, Convert Group designed a data monetisation platform that provides a one-of-a-kind and intuitive environment for both retailers and brands to cooperate and engage with cleansed, de-duplicated, and enriched data that is visually appealing and simple to use. Book a demo with one of our eCommerce specialists to learn more about our platform.