Pretty much every day, an email hits my inbox from a retailer that I occasionally shop at. And pretty much every day, I flip past and delete it without a second thought. Or I open it, glance briefly and delete it without clicking any links. Even as a self-professed shopaholic, it takes a lot for me to get interested enough to sidetrack my day and look at the day’s promotion. However, lately they seem to have come up with a new trick. They began utilizing the power of suggestion. Things like “We absolutely love this dress!” and “The shoes that go with everything” began shouting out at me from the subject line of their emails. I was intrigued. I shop at this retailer because they have products that I like, and I assume that they are experts in their field. So naturally, I am at least a little curious about their recommendations and favorite products. Soon after, I started realizing how often I rely on the opinions of those I see as experts. The “chef’s favorite” at a new restaurant or the “staff pick” when I’m picking out a bottle of wine.
The power of suggestion can do a great deal for retailers, but all too few of them actually utilize this power and guide their customers to purchase specific products. And they really should. It only takes a little bit of planning, a few creative displays, and suddenly, the opinions and expertise of staff members are suddenly helping to drive sales. Especially in pharmacies, customers rely on the knowledge of pharmacy employees to guide them to pick the right product to meet their needs. Here’s a few tips to help you nudge your customers in the right direction.
1) Have a “pharmacists pick”. It can be anything. A great multivitamin, skin care product, or even a flu shot when the season arrives. Change it out weekly or monthly. Place an eye catching display prominently in your store and suddenly you have a featured product with very little additional work.
2) Set up “staff favorites” throughout the store. This strategy can be used to market some of the more specialty, or perhaps slightly frivolous items in your store. Because customers develop relationships with pharmacy technicians and clerks, their opinions are also valuable to your customer base. All it takes is putting a few special signs on shelves throughout the store. Try putting a picture of the staff member and a quote as to why this particular product is “Kim’s Favorite”. Customers will be drawn to the different signage and personal touch.
3) Tie in your loyalty program with any featured products. You don’t even need to put the products you decide to feature on sale. But you can incentivize purchase by offering extra reward points for customers participating in your loyalty program when they buy one of your recommended items. Try having a special day of the week or month when members of your loyalty program can get special deals on these items. This helps drive membership in your loyalty program and the limited timeline for taking advantage of the promotion will create a sense of urgency that helps to drive sales
These simple steps can help increase average ticket size and overall sales in your pharmacy. Not only that, your customers will appreciate the personal investment from you and your staff which means increased customer loyalty. I hope you’ll give this a try and I’d love to hear how it works for you!
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customer service, and was initially brought on board as a Sales Assistant and managed IIAS certifications for RMS’s pharmacy POS customers. Today, Karen works as a Customer Success Manager, striving to provide independent and institutional pharmacies with the tools and resources they need to succeed in today’s competitive pharmacy market.