A large proportion of consumers are still avoiding or reducing trips to pharmacy stores, but they still want access to quality advice and services. Pharmacies should look to drive traffic to their in-store and online services with appointment booking software and virtual queues.
Despite being deemed an essential service and allowed to remain open throughout the lockdown period, a large proportion of consumers are still avoiding or reducing trips to pharmacies as a result of Covid-19, and are instead opting to purchase products or collect prescriptions at grocery stores.
According to Qudini’s September survey of 2,000 UK consumers, 45% of regular pharmacy customers are visiting stores less often than they were before the pandemic, while only 7% are visiting stores more.
As well as selling health, beauty and over-the-counter medication, pharmacies add the most value by offering a range of support services to their customers, including advice for smoking cessation, hair loss, blood tests, optical services, weight loss, diabetes clinics, as well as flu jabs, coronavirus tests and potential vaccines. It’s these services that have the potential to build stronger relationships with customers, so being able to drive traffic towards them is vital.
How pharmacies can promote and safely manage their in-store services
- Appointment scheduling software enables customers to schedule appointments 24/7 online, which will enable you to increase traffic to your vaccine services and other services while also improving efficiency.
- Virtual queuing software can also help to manage walk-in customers by allowing them to join virtual queues via SMS or QR code instead of waiting in physical lines. This way customers can leave the store and receive notifications when it is time to return.
These services help pharmacies, healthcare providers and retailers in general to create safe, engaging and efficient experiences that build stronger relationships with consumers.
While these solutions are incredibly effective at managing consumer expectations and driving traffic to stores in a controlled and systematic fashion, the key to their success lies in how effectively they are promoted.
Here’s some suggestions from us:
1) Create effective signage
To get the most out of your appointment booking and queuing solutions, pharmacies need to invest in effective signage that informs customers of the service.
Effective appointment booking and queuing signage needs to include:
- A clear explanation of the offering.
- Compelling Call-To-Actions.
- A strong value proposition.
- Icons and simple images.
- An easy to understand customer journey.
Example of an appointment booking sign at a pharmacy
Example of a virtual queue sign at a pharmacy
2) Place signs strategically throughout your stores
Pharmacies can draw attention to their appointment booking and virtual queuing services across a number of in-store and online mediums. Here are some of many ways pharmacies can promote these services in their stores:
Create pull up or roller banners
Position signs in your parking lot
Place signs on counter tops or at POS
Stick up signs on your shop front window displays
There are loads more examples of how pharmacies can create effective signage throughout their stores in our signage guide.
3) On your website
Pharmacy retailers can also actively promote their appointment booking service across their online channels, including their website, social channels, paid ads and through SEO.
Here are some examples of how pharmacies can promote their appointment booking service across their website:
On your homepage, nav bar and with pop ups
To drive traffic to your appointment scheduling service, create a call to action on the homepage of your website. It’s also worthwhile creating pop up buttons when customers enter your website for the first time, or in the navigation bar at the top of the site.
On product pages
For products or services that relate to your specialist services, it may also be worth setting up Call-To-Actions that allow customers to make appointments if they require more information. This is a great way to increase customer conversion rates and build stronger relationships.
On your store locator page
Allow customers looking to locate their nearest store to easily book appointments for services. This way you’ll be able to properly prepare for their arrival and provide them with useful information before and after their visit.
For more information about promoting appointment booking across digital and in-store mediums, click here to download our guide.