We’ve all heard the expression “use it or lose it” in many different contexts. Believe it or not, it’s a very powerful marketing technique. This is because loss is a much more powerful motivator than gain. For example, the satisfaction we get from finding a $50 bill is much less impactful than the negative emotions we’d feel if $50 fell out of our wallets.
This tendency of ours is called loss aversion, and taking advantage of it can actually play an important role in the success of your independent pharmacy. Here are 4 ways that you can use loss aversion for better results in your pharmacy.
Coupon and sale expirations – If our natural tendency is to avoid loss, setting expiration dates for coupons, sales and deals just makes sense. Failing to use that coupon for $5.00 off is actually a loss for all intents and purposes. Especially at an independent pharmacy where many items purchased are necessities, you’ll drive customers to avoid the loss of that opportunity by imposing time restrictions.
Special product offers – Seasonal products are a great way to take advantage of loss aversion. Think about the hype that always comes with Starbucks’ Eggnog Latte’s and Cranberry Bliss Bars every holiday season. Because certain items are only available for a limited time, their innate scarcity means that customers will be more likely to purchase to avoid losing out on the opportunity. Try to promote any seasonal items and highlight limited stock. Keep this in mind for any events or classes you might hold as well by noting limited space available.
Take advantage of FSA funds – Funds on certain kinds of health benefit cards expire with each new benefit cycle. Unused funds are simply lost. Remind your customers that you carry items that can be purchased using an FSA card. This can be especially important around June and December or January when it’s common for many companies to run their benefits renewal. Use your Pharmacy POS system to note FSA eligible products on the shelf label and put up signage that may help confused customers identify potential products they might purchase. Check out this page for some great information of FSA eligibility.
Marketing awareness – Always keep loss aversion in mind when creating advertisements and marketing in your pharmacy. Keep your focus on what things your pharmacy customers might miss out on if they don’t take advantage of a specific sale or special offer.
I hope this helps you to understand loss aversion more fully and provides you with some ideas that will hopefully provide you with more success in your pharmacy. Don’t lose profits every day by not keeping loss aversion in mind in your marketing strategies. Use it or lose it! (See what I did there?)