15 minutes or less

October 24, 2013By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Megan Moyer

What is your greatest competitive advantage?

We have great customer service. We know our patients and they are in and out within 5-10 minutes of arriving.

That’s a question and response from our independent pharmacist survey that we conducted in fall of 2012 as part of our research into independent pharmacy shoppers. This particular pharmacist noted that they serve their patients quickly – within 10 minutes of arriving the customer is on their way.make the most of shoppers' time in the store

While speedy service is appreciated, this could be a missed opportunity. Our research showed that shoppers that spent approximately 15 minutes in the store made the most OTC purchases. However, those that spent less than 15 minutes in the store made the most purchases of personal care products. Likely spending more time correlates with an OTC purchase because shoppers spend time looking for the product that treats all of their symptoms or take time to consult with the pharmacist on which brand they recommend, especially if the shopper is on prescription medication.

What’s the happy medium? Depends on how you position your store. If you’re trying to be a one-stop shopping spot, you want to earn both shoppers’ OTC and personal care purchases. If you’re positioned as a wellness destination, you definitely want to earn your patients’ OTC purchases but there is also a significant subset of personal care items that contribute to wellness. We’ve seen data that indicates that consumers choose their personal care items based on the product’s perceived health benefits.

Ultimately, the amount of time spent is a just a number and although averages give us a guidepost, individual transactions depend on just that, the individual. Customizing your assortment to meet the needs of your loyal patients as well as to meet the needs of the demographics of your city/town/county will generate the front-end sales that can set your store profits sailing.

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