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Beyond the Prescriptions: Increasing Your Non-Prescription Pharmacy Sales

ByDave Stopher

May 28, 2021

Prescriptions are the top reasons customers visit your pharmacy. They double as the source of revenue. But if you want to maximize your pharmacy’s potential for revenue, consider the sales of your non-prescription products.

Prescription profit margins suffered a dip in 2019. But in 2020, the numbers turned and are now on the rise. Make sure your front-end product profit margins do the same. Although prescriptions are the heart of your revenue, a good over-the-counter sales strategy maximizes your profitability.

Whether it’s changing your marketing strategy or improving your pharmaceutical flooring, there are many strategies to bring in more non-prescription pharmacy sales. The following easy-to-implement strategies encourage customers to make non-prescription-related purchases and, eventually, boost your pharmacy’s revenue.

Do Your Market Research

Just because you think a particular product should be on your shelf, it doesn’t mean your customers think the same. Do not always rely on your intuition to determine the best ways to increase your non-prescription sales. Instead, do your research. Review data to determine which retail and over-the-counter products are in demand.

According to a study from the Hamacher Resource Group (HRG), pain relief products and vitamins, cold & allergy and dietary supplements represented 43 percent of unit sales in health and wellness. Take this piece of information into account.

Always review your sales figures to see which products are more popular with your customers and stock enough to meet their demand.

Pay Attention to Your Pharmacy’s Floor Plan

The best pharmacy layouts display the products you want customers to see and buy. Think about it: some areas of your pharmacy receive more foot traffic compared to others. For instance, the checkout aisles and prescription counters see more traffic. Move your items in and out of these spots to see which products will increase in sales when relocated to highly visible areas.

Also, don’t forget your other floor areas. Test the different spots in your pharmacy and move the products around. A little reorganization can influence your customer’s decision to buy or not.

Build Strong Relationships with Customers

Customers are the lifeline of your revenue. They can also give your pharmacy a competitive advantage. Customers who enjoy a good and trusted relationship with their local pharmacy are more likely to return compared to when they visit stores they lack personal connection with.

This job falls on you and your team. Together, you can create an atmosphere of trust and comfort. Train your team to engage with patients and establish a personal (yet professional) relationship with them. Also, teach your team to recognize repeat customers. Your staff should greet them by name, ask questions about their families or personalized their services (if possible).

Perfect the Art of Selling

The best type of sales isn’t the pushy sales talk; it’s all about being helpful. Some customers visit your pharmacy unsure of what they should purchase. Help them out by offering recommendations. Teach your team-specific product recommendations based on what your customers are already buying.

It also helps to hold weekly team meetings to inform everyone which products need to be marked down, moved or removed.

Be Your Own Secret Shopper

Step into your consumer’s shoes by walking through your pharmacy as a secret shopper. Browse through your shop with fresh eyes and ask yourself, “Do our products look inviting?” If you were a customer, would continue shopping in your pharmacy? If you’re unsure, your pharmacy may need some changes. Improve on the lighting, update the décor or add a fresh coat of paint to improve your space.

Stock Related Products Closely

Know how your products are related to each other so you can increase sales. For example, patients with a cold may shop for a box of tissues and herbal treatments. Customers in need of knee braces may also look for joint cream. Display related products next to each other so your customers can easily grab what they need. Again, take advantage of your floor plan to determine the position of related products.

Prioritize Delivering the Best Customer Service

Everything ends and begins with customer service. Offering exceptional customer service is one of the best ways to increase your pharmacy’s non-prescription sales. Always ask yourself (and the team) the question, “What part of the shopping experience can we improve on?” Apart from taking note of your team’s feedback, give customers a platform where they can voice out their opinions. People love it when you listen to them. Plus their feedback can help you make the necessary improvements.

Your pharmacy isn’t just a place for prescriptions. It is also a place where customers can find supplements, food, household items and other convenience products. Enjoy a healthy bottom line for your pharmacy by increasing the sales of these items.