Survey insights for UK pharmacies: how consumers want to shop

Raj Sangha
by Raj Sangha

How do customers want their experiences to be managed within pharmacies…

To understand how Qudini can help our pharmacies clients at this important time, we sought to understand which of our four key Retail Choreography tools customers wanted to see within pharmacies retail stores to better manage their experience. So we surveyed customer opinions on:

  • Virtual Queuing Systems: To manage store capacity and to enable customers to queue virtually using their phone or through a host with a tablet.
  • Appointment Scheduling Software: To enable customers to schedule store visits and in-person service or virtual service 24/7 from any channel.
  • Contactless Collection Check-in: To enable customers with online orders to check-in when they arrive at store so that store teams bring their order to them outside of the store.

How do customers want their experiences to be managed within pharmacies…

Customer priorities of these tools specific to pharmacies were as follows:

For Millennial and GenZ customers:

1. Store appointments (28%)

2. Virtual queuing systems (26%)

3. Contactless online order collections (25%)

4. Virtual appointments (23%)


For Baby Boomer customers:

1. Store appointments (26%)

2. Virtual appointments (20%)

3. Virtual queuing systems (19%)

4. Contactless online order collections (19%)

Overall Millennial and GenZ customers are more likely to find these solution useful. This pattern for was common across most retail industries.

Consumers earning between £50k and £100k where the most likely to want Retail Choreography solutions from all retail tools except for virtual appointments which were marginally more in demand from lower income households. Those earning upwards of £100k were more likely to want store appointments.

Female consumers were more interested in each solution than male consumers. This suggests that for pharmacies primarily targeting female consumers, there’s an even greater business case for investing in these in-store experience tools to drive sales. While the insights also indicate that pharmacies could attract more men to their offerings by offering in-store and online appointments.

When asked why customers would find virtual queuing and appointment booking software useful within retail stores during the pandemic, it was clear that most customers felt the solutions could alleviate their health concerns, alongside their concerns around wasted time, poor weather conditions, lack of information and fair process.


What impact would using these solutions have on pharmacy customer spend, advocacy and loyalty?

The survey responses also indicate that pharmacies who use any of these five solutions to choreograph their customers’ experience stand to gain significantly through improved revenues and brand relationships across channels.

This is particularly prevalent amongst Millennial and GenZ customers where an average of 77% state that the solutions would positively impact their interactions with retailers in one or more of the following ways:


Could Covid-19 be a catalyst for a new era of omni-channel pharmacies?

Our survey found that Millennial and GenZ customers are 3-4 times more likely to find Retail Choreography tools useful within pharmacy retail stores.

When compared with Baby Boomers across all types of retail stores, these younger generations also report that if a retailer used such tools to manage their experience, they would be:

All this confirms what we all instinctively know to be true – Millennial and GenZ customers want retailers to use digital tools to improve their experience, and they will be driven to spend more and to engage more across a retailer’s entire omni-channel offering in return.

The significantly greater interest in Retail Choreography tools from younger generations suggests they may have wanted these kinds of tools all along and that Covid-19 will prove to be a catalyst for a new era of omni-channel retailing as retailers realise the powerful business case benefits behind offering such tools.

To further add to the business case benefit of using Retail Choreography solutions within pharmacies and the conclusion that Covid will prove to be a catalyst for a new era of omni-channel retailing where queues are eliminated and in-store or virtual appointments and curbside pickup become the norm.



The survey insights showed the powerful business case benefits for Retail Choreography tools within pharmacies

Our survey also showed that, when compared with their lower household income peers, higher household income groups were 1.6 times more likely to be driven to buy something online or in-store as a result of a retailer using these tools.

21% said they were more likely to make an in-store purchase and 19% were more likely to shop with the retailer online, compared with 12.5% of those from lower household income groups.

Overall, our survey shows that a long wait time is more likely to deter younger generations and those from higher household income groups from visiting stores or returning in the future. To combat this, the insights show that Retail Choreography tools offer a powerful antidote, as these same demographics are also the most likely to be driven to purchase in-store and online across a retailer’s channels, and the most likely to return again as a result of a retailer’s use of digital tools to choreograph their experience.


How long customers are prepared to wait for service within pharmacies…

When asked how long customers are willing to wait in pharmacies we found that:

15% will only tolerate a wait of up to 3 minutes. 20% will wait between 3-7 minutes and 25% will be willing to wait between 8 and 10 minutes. In total, this means that more than half of pharmacy shoppers (60%) will only wait up to 10 minutes for service.

These insights demonstrate that the wait time does not need to be long before significant revenues can be lost.

Interestingly, despite being more likely to walkout without buying anything and less likely to return to the store if they are forced to wait, Millennial and GenZ customers have a higher mean wait time threshold than older generations when it comes to waiting in queues at pharmacies. They are more patient of longer waits, though less tolerant and also, more personally insulted if a wait exceeds their expectations.

Pharmacy wait time tolerance is similar to that of grocery stores and high value stores like estate agencies and cycle stores.





Improving pharmacies profitability and driving lasting brand relevance

These insights show that both during and outside of the Coronavirus, pharmacies have much to gain by using Retail choreography solutions to manage queues, to offer in-store and virtual appointments and to provide contactless click and collect pickup services.

Our many case studies with leading pharmacies have also shown the same. For more information on how we can help your brand take a look at our customer success stories or get in touch with our team for a demo at


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