|A POS Road Trip Update||| Print ||
We checked in with Retail Management Solutions' (RMS) Chris Gage, who is about six months into her two-year road trip across America visiting RMS' independent pharmacy customers. She shares some of the opportunities she's uncovered for how technology vendors can better support independent pharmacy and a few thoughts on what she's found sets these pharmacists apart. You can follow Chris's travels by visiting www.rms-ontheroad.com.
"The majority of customers I have met admit to not reading their email with any frequency, although this is increasingly the means that their partners/vendors are using to get information to them. So they can be missing out on important updates and information that can help their business."
"Many customers realize that they are under-utilizing their technology, but for whatever reason don't see the value of investing in ongoing training or consulting. When it comes to point of sale, they end up using their fully featured system just as they would a basic cash register."
"Only a couple of customers I have visited so far engage in social media. Utilizing Facebook and Twitter can provide a means of capturing the attention of younger consumers. Social media can also be a means of generating traffic by using it to deliver special offers, discounts, etc."
"The front end of the business is often thought of as a necessary evil. But focusing efforts on promotional activities as well as on unique product offerings that will increase add-ons to prescription sales is vital to success."
"A very small percentage of our customers utilize the system's built in loyalty module. Those that do, love it. This is an especially important area of opportunity for pharmacies with large front-end offerings, as the loyalty program can be targeted toward purchasing tendencies."
What sets indepedents apart:
"I have gotten to see first-hand how dedicated independent pharmacists are to their community. From sponsoring local sports teams to participating in block parties, they are friends to the city or town in which they do business."
"Diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure screenings, etc.: independents were the first to offer all of these for free to their customers and still do. This may not be a differentiating factor for long though since all the chains are now jumping on the bandwagon."
"Every visit I've made has provided an opportunity to witness the relationship that the staff at independent pharmacies have with their customers. From clerks to the pharmacist, they truly know their customers and their customers' families."
"Impressive service. The pharmacies I have visited have been staffed to ensure the best service, with prescriptions being filled in just minutes and staff readily available to answer any questions."
"Each site has really been a destination; a unique local business that fits into the community."