By Nelson Rodriguez, junior category analyst, for the Resolutions for Independent Pharmacies blog series

As a retailer, you need to constantly be giving your customers a reason to come back. Sure, there are your prescription customers who may have a built-in need to return to your store on a regular basis, but even those shoppers need motivation to browse your front-end each time they visit. How do you compel patrons to return to your store? Try a new idea every month.

Giving yourself the goal of implementing a new idea every month will keep things fresh in your store and keep customers interested. There’s an independent pharmacy in my neighborhood that has an endcap that hasn’t changed in I don’t even know how many months. I don’t shop their front-end because my impression is they don’t pay much attention to it, and that doesn’t encourage me to pay any attention to it either.

Coming up with something new to try each month might seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be a wide-sweeping change, it can be a small one that has the potential for a meaningful impact. Involve your staff in coming up with ideas to make it a team effort and give them a creative outlet. When your associates have a hand in coming up with the new initiative, they have a stronger interest in making it a success.

At HRG, we are trying something new – we’re providing new endcap ideas to our TEMPS® subscribers every month. If you receive our try a new idea every monthTEMPS Category Manager program, you have an automatic new idea to try every month with a fresh endcap you can set. If you need ideas for your other endcaps, you can look to the national health observance website and create an endcap that addresses that month’s health observance.

A different idea you could try is to offer a new promotion or reward for loyalty club members. Think of promotions that are more than placing items on sale. “Sales” aren’t traffic drivers anymore because they are so common. Consider changing your loyalty club reward on a quarterly basis just to keep members engaged and interested. After you have tried a few different types of rewards and promotions you can identify which resonated most with your customers and offer them during slower sales months.

Offering new promotions and varied loyalty club rewards also conveys to your shoppers that you want them to shop at your store and are actively, continually trying to improve their shopping experience. While my local pharmacy doesn’t give the impression that they care about their front-end because they don’t make many updates, your customers will take notice of your efforts to engage them, and those efforts should result in positive outcomes.