What do shoppers expect from you?

February 24, 2017By Focus on the Pharmacy Front End Blog, Independent Pharmacy

by Brittany Benson, manufacturer research specialist

Big players like Amazon have become industry leaders by shifting shopper expectations. You can do that in your own store. In fact, you should already be focused on setting shopper’s expectations for your store. What do you want to be known for and what kind of customers do you want to attract?

Remember the “If you build it, they will come” concept from the movie Field of Dreams? While not guaranteed, “The more time, attention, effort, and thought you apply to an idea the more likely it is that something will come of it.” To paraphrase elements from Brian Berk’s recent Drug Store News post, even Wal-mart faces increasing competition from e-commerce and home delivery services. The shifts in shopper expectations that continue to emerge from omni-channel commerce affect drug retailers as much as any other channel.

Where does that leave you? With some thinking to do! Our own Dave Wendland recently authored a blog post for Drug Store News that imagined, as he titled it, “newfangled collaborations.” He posed ideas for atypical relationships you could forge with local businesses that you've got some thinking to dooffer solutions that further wellness, even though those solutions may not be normally “sold” as items or services that can improve well-being.

Another way you may provide more value to your customers and attract new ones is to look for a niche you can fill in your community. Is there a service or products you could offer that are in line with the shopper experience you want to provide and meet a need? Based on your market and regional demographics, see if you can pinpoint what is in demand and whether you can be profitable offering it.

Although you may not be able to add e-commerce to your website, you should make the most of your online presence so if customers or potential customers are looking for local healthcare resources they will find you. In addition to optimizing your website, narrow down the social media sites that you’ll participate on and be consistent with messaging and regular with posts and updates.

Don’t be afraid to try different approaches. Something you try is bound to fail but you won’t know until you put in the effort. Get ideas from your staff and even your customers – you never know what may spur the next best idea.