Prescriptions may be the number one reason patients come into your pharmacy (not to mention a vital revenue source!), but it’s imperative for your business to boost non-prescription sales as well.
In recent years, the profit margins of prescriptions across the industry have been dropping while margins for OTC or front-end products remain consistent and strong. This merchandise can be an important source of revenue and maximizing your retail sales are just as important in your profitability as selling prescribed medications.
Below are seven strategic ways to entice patients to make non-prescription purchases and ultimately boost your pharmacy revenue.
1. Do Your Market Research
Just because you like a particular product, doesn’t mean everyone else does too. Don’t rely on your intuition to figure out the best ways to grow your non-prescription sales. Review data and research to determine which over-the-counter and retail products are hot. A study by Hamacher Resource Group (HRG) found that pharmacists assumed that diabetes products ranked as the fourth most-shopped non-prescription category, but point-of-sale data revealed that diabetes products actually ranked 15th.
Also, review your sales figures to see which product categories are most popular with your customers and take steps to make these products easier to locate in your pharmacy.
2. Use Your Pharmacy’s Floor Plan to Your Advantage
An effective pharmacy layout will display your merchandise to optimize sales. Some areas of your pharmacy probably receive more foot traffic than others. For example, areas next to the prescription counter and aisles leading to the checkout registers tend to be higher in traffic. Rotate products in and out of these areas and at the end-of-aisle displays to determine which items see increased sales in these highly visible locations. Testing different floor areas will give you a good idea about where your pharmacy’s prime real estate is located. Moving merchandise around will also help keep your store fresh and current for your customers.
3. Train Your Pharmacy Team to Cross-Sell and Upsell
As a pharmacist, you know that a large number of drugs dispensed have the potential of causing drug-induced nutritional deficiencies. Many of the patients that walk through your door are already buying nutrients. Knowing this, the questions you should ask yourself are:
- Are they buying them from your pharmacy?
- Are they buying quality supplements that are beneficial to their health?
Upselling nutrient depletion supplements is a win-win. Patients who are buying supplements elsewhere don’t normally consult a pharmacist at the time of purchase, so are oftentimes not taking the correct nutrients their body needs with drug-induce depletion. For example, you make $5 selling a patient a beta blocker, and then you make $15 selling them the CoQ10 his body needs to have because of that drug.
Your pharmacy team is key to this “UpSolutions” strategy. Train them to build relationships with customers and make relevant product suggestions based off the drugs they are prescribed.
This can also work for any product you sell in your store. Coach your team to be helpful and ask customers what products they are looking for so they can easily find it and this can open the conversation to upselling.
It can also be helpful to hold weekly team meetings to inform your staff what inventory needs to be moved, marked down or removed.