At the beginning of each year, we are bombarded with countless predictions about what new technologies will prevail and the direction that technical innovations will be headed in. A recent article boils down all these predictions to the 5 most important.
When looking at these predictions, it soon becomes apparent that 2015’s hottest applications and gadgets won’t be about the technology itself, but about the consumer behavior that’s driving the success of that technology. And that behavior should have impact on how you run your pharmacy this year.
1) A Thousand Ubers will bloom: This can otherwise be interpreted as the continued popularity of odd, quirky alternatives to traditional businesses. The reason? Service above everything else. As stated in the article, these businesses “sell trust in the branded entity, not in the component parts”. This particular consumer behavior can be of great benefit to your pharmacy if you have control of your unique pharmacy brand, and if you work to make service a top priority in your pharmacy.
2) Smart Devices will start to become intelligent: If it’s even possible, all of those apps that are meant to make your life easier, will now do even more. Retailers should take note of this trend because it means that beyond good service, it’s important to make things crazy easy for your customers. Make convenience a priority and offer services like home delivery and curbside prescription pickup.
3) Payments will see the biggest changes since credit cards: Yes, changes are coming. It seems that EMV is the topic on the forefront of everyone’s minds lately. But a change on this scale takes time. Even in Europe, where EMV was implemented 15 years ago, there still isn’t 100% adoption from merchants. You can learn about more about EMV in this article. Be prepared to help your customers navigate these changes by educating them when they have questions about their payment options and how their credit and debit card transactions are processed.
4) New media will take off: Content is king. Your customers are most likely receiving news, social updates, tips and more from many different companies every day. Don’t miss out on any opportunity to reach customers. Whether you post a newsletter online, share health tips via a social outlet or write a weekly blog like this one, a little bit of effort can go a long way.
5) Mobile gaming will be even more addictive: Okay, how can this possibly affect your pharmacy? Well in a roundabout way, it can have a big impact. If people are addicted to mobile gaming, they always have their smart phones within reach. Make sure that information about your store is easily available online and that you are monitoring customer feedback. Review these tips for optimizing your website and check out this article to learn about managing customer feedback in your pharmacy.
The pharmacy that has the foresight to adapt to changes in consumer behavior will no doubt find more success in the coming year. How will you address the demands of fickle consumers and changing technology?
Karen Deckard came to RMS with a background in retail and customers 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.