Migratory shopper paths part 2 of 2

December 22, 2013By Industry Intuition, Views

by Dave Wendland, as seen in Healthcare Distributor magazine, Out of the Box column

June/July 2013

In the previous issue of HealthCare Distributor, I used this column to describe the first of several shopping patterns through the persona of birds. This issue I introduce three additional species and their shopping characteristics.

If you haven’t already done so, I would also encourage you to familiarize yourself with the five independent pharmacy shopper profiles revealed as part of an industry study completed by Hamacher Resource Group on behalf of the Healthcare Distribution Management Association (HDMA). The study, entitled, Independent Pharmacy Shoppers: Who, What, and Why? provides unique insight to independent pharmacy shoppers through three distinct lenses: pharmacist; shopper; and point-of-sale scan data.

One thing became evident through the research — different shoppers have different reasons for visiting a pharmacy and most definitely require a variety of services, categories, and messaging to meet their needs. Furthermore, as a good friend from the industry shared with me, “if you’ve seen one independent pharmacy, you’ve seen one independent pharmacy!”

Previously introduced were the Dove, Condor, and Robin. In this column I reveal the remaining migratory paths that may describe other “typical” drugstore shopping patterns as if they were bird species.

The eagle

She swoops into the store in response to an external trigger generally not connected to health and wellness. Her inspiration comes from the promotional aisle. She’s sure to check out discounted and clearance items as she shops the perimeter. Her basket fills each time she visits so that she may return to her home, proud of the value she found for her family.

Not recognized for her loyalty, this eagle-eyed shopper will often visit two or three locations during a single outing to ensure that she covers her family’s basic needs while purchasing a few non-essentials because the values were simply too good to overlook.

The peahen

Fanciful in appearance and vain in comparison, peahens are beauty shoppers. They like trends and new fashion. The way they are seen by others is of utmost importance. Moving a peahen from the beauty choices in the store to health and wellness requires temptation. Relying too heavily on the peahen and her infrequent visits could put a retailer at risk.

One should recognize that the peahen also has a close knit circle of influence. Disappoint her, and she’ll spread bad news quickly; delight her, and she’ll gladly share the experience with others.

The falcon

Known for her keen senses — especially sight and hearing — the falcon is interested in the overall store experience. She will remain in clear view as she carefully examines all areas of the store and because she sees things peripherally, following her movement is not easily accomplished. Not driven to a specific destination, the falcon scans each department to reveal items she wishes to quickly add to her basket.

Don’t forget that the falcon is a bird of prey who finds opportunities to purchase things with surprising speed. Properly arranging category adjacencies and ensuring that aisles are free from obstruction will help this shopper discover a fulfilling and memorable in-store experience.

Although a rather atypical way to view shopping patterns at drugstores, I believe studying shoppers from different vantage points can shed new light on strategies that can produce results. So why not take flight and soar above the fray — it may surprise you what you see.

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