Know your market segments

November 23, 2015By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Jen Johnston

Do you know your market segments? When we say “market segment,” we are referring to a distinct group of people, or customers, who have certain wants and needs. To meet their wants and needs, they are willing to exchange their hard-earned money for products and services. If your products and services match up to their wants and needs, everyone wins! If they don’t match, shoppers become unhappy and sales dip.

Market segments can be sliced and diced in many different fashions. Here are just a few:Market segments can be sliced and diced in many different fashions

Generational Market Segments – Example: Millennials value different things than Baby Boomers. The oldest Millennials are creeping up to 40 in the next few years. According to PBA Health, they are “inherently distrustful of big business and value transparency, traits that independent community pharmacies can use to their advantage.” If the Millennials in your area are not shopping in your store, ask yourself if you are meeting their desire to connect with retailers online prior to their store visit. If not, you may need to beef up your social media presence.

Cultural Market Segments – Example: African Americans have different hair care needs than Caucasians. If a sizable portion of your population base is African American, be sure to stock the hair care products they want. Don’t assume this means only relaxers. There is a movement in the African American community toward natural hair – a few of my own friends are on their own “natural hair journey” and they post their progress on Facebook. Going natural requires its own special products – moisturizers, styling products, oils, cleansers, conditioners, the list goes on! Consider carrying some hair care brands by black-owned hair care businesses.

Disease State Market Segments – Example: Cardiovascular patients have distinct needs. If your pharmacy is positioned near a hospital that specializes in heart health, you would be wise to keep a display of heart healthy items. This section could include cross-merchandised and best-selling dietary supplements, such as fish oil, niacin and garlic; digestive health products, such as fiber powders and pills; diagnostic products, such as blood pressure monitors and at-home cholesterol tests; aspirin; smoking deterrents, such as nicotine gum; heart-healthy cookbooks; salt-free spices; healthy snacks, such as nuts; and more.

Lifestyle Market Segments – Example: Your pharmacy may be located in a community with a large abundance of golfers. You may choose to have a section devoted to golf merchandise and unique golf-related gifts that can’t be found elsewhere.

Product-related Market Segments – Example: The people in your community might predominantly own a certain product. In being owners of that product, they need the ongoing supplies that go along with it. Why not make your pharmacy the place that they go back to for repeat purchases?

When was the last time you looked at the market segments among your shoppers or those in your community? If it has been a few years, the market segments may have changed. Or perhaps the obvious ones are the same, but if you dig a little deeper, you’ll uncover a whole group of people to cater to…and reap the rewards from!

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