New School Vs. Old School – Pharmacy POS Can Help Increase your Profits

Old school vs. new school is an age old question.  Is it better to stay old fashioned and stick with what works? Or should you take a risk and try something new with hopes of improving upon the status quo. 

While there are certain things that are certainly better left the way they are, there are also many things that can be improved upon by using POS technology. 

For example:


Customer Loyalty:

Old School: Here’s a punch card.  Every time you spend $10 I’ll punch a slot.  When you reach 10 punches I’ll give you $10 off your next purchase. 

Why it doesn’t work:  There are dozens of reasons why this method of customer loyalty is broken. To start, you’re not tracking reward dollars.  You have no idea who your most loyal customers are. Customers easily lose those irritating flimsy little punch cards, and therefore have no incentive to shop at your pharmacy:

       New School: Use a loyalty program integrated through your pharmacy POS system. 

Why it works:  You can customize how you reward your customers and offer incentives that don’t cut into your pharmacy’s profitability.   You can also see which customers are shopping the most and reward them accordingly.  Customers also don’t have to remember their loyalty cards.  It’s all tracked and managed through your POS system.

Item pricing:

Old School: Individually sticker every single item with the price as it comes in.  It really doesn’t take that much time right? And then the price is right on the item.

Why it doesn’t work:  Prices on the items won’t match what’s in your register.  Changing prices is a difficult and lengthy process as you’ll have to track down every single item, including overstock, to be stickered.  This is just a pain.  What’s more, it will look outdated to your customers and you don’t want to be seen as behind the times when it comes to technology.

New School: Integrate shelf labels and price updates through your POS system

Why it Works:  Every sale goes through your Pharmacy POS system so it only makes sense that labels should print through that same system.  That way, you can be sure everything is up to date without extra work.  When a price update comes in, labels for those items with a price change will automatically be queued to print.  Only print stickers for the items you carry and even lock out changes on items that you’d like to control the pricing on yourself. 

Drive-thru signature capture:

       Old School:  Capture signatures on paper or hand out a wired signature pad

Why it doesn’t work: Either you’ll have to dig through stacks of paper to find your signature or fight with a piece of equipment that wasn’t meant to be moved. Problematic either way. 

New School: Use a handheld register or wireless drive-thru signature capture device

Why it works: It’s easy for your customers to sign for their prescriptions, credit cards, etc.  And it’s easy for you and your staff to find those signatures when needed.  It also has the added benefit of showing your customers that your pharmacy is on the cutting edge and making investments to make shopping in your pharmacy crazy easy. 

Are there other ways you can think of?  What practices should still be kept “old school”?  What old ways can you think of that should be abolished and replaced with modern techniques?  I’d love to hear your comments below.