Pharmacy Stores are losing their market share to e-commerce giants continuously from the last 3 years. As Amazon took over Pill Pack in an almost billion-dollar deal back in 2018, demand for online medicine deliveries was at 2% CAGR which has now jumped up to 14.1%. Customer experience and at-home delivery remain the major reasons for this change. But that’s only the bright part of online medicine demand in the USA. In a recent survey by the US Security Exchange Commission, local pharmacies tend to share $15 on every $18 of their gross profit for storage, delivery, and other related services. Pharmacies need to cut down on these expenses by enabling smart delivery technologies in their daily store operations. Delivery Automation and Self-Service Touchpoints can help them to expand outreach and maintain a fair share of community pharmacy sales.
Technology interventions like temperature controlled click and collect lockers are already helping pharmacies to automate pharmacy store operations. What they need now are wider adoption and propitious consumer behavior opportunities. Recent COVID-19 circumstances offer them just that! Given the nature of shift for customers from reactive healthcare to proactive healthcare in recent months, demand for online medicine orders is only going to escalate further. Same-day deliveries, pricing controls, delivery automation, and in-store experiences have already helped early adopters to entice customers and mitigate the risk of competition from e-commerce leaders. With the help of Electronic Lockers, pharmacies have been able to match the omnichannel needs of their operations while still maintaining their brick and mortar models. The early success of E-Lockers for E-Pharmacy only explicates the need for its further implementation.
Benefits of Electronic Lockers in Automation of E-Pharmacy
McKinsey has already reported a countrywide increase of 39% in BOPIS (Buy-Online-Pick-up-at-Store) services. 59% of these customers claim to continue using such models for deliveries for the next many years. E- Lockers for Health and Wellness Products allow these users to maintain their loyalty with the local pharmacies and at the same time embrace their new change in purchasing behavior. As for more direct benefits to the e-pharmacy sector, these self-service automatic lockers have a lot more to offer.
Expanding E-Pharmacy Footprint with Smart Lockers
46% of the customers consider the location of their pharmacy and healthcare provider while making their purchasing decision. With Electronic Lockers, pharmacies can create ‘dark stores’ across various locations within a city and even across neighboring cities. Stores can skip the home delivery staff and transport expenses altogether to enable a new self-service model. This can help pharmacy stores to even make more deliveries while covering more ground. Some Automatic Locker units like Smartbox are even weatherproof to ensure low maintenance for serving distant areas.
Automation in E-Pharmacy Delivery Lifecycle
Among others, the one advantage that E-Commerce Companies have over Local Pharmacies is their ability to provide 24X7 services. With Smart Lockers, Pharmacy customers can schedule their deliveries and pick them up anytime. Also, a Self-Service Delivery Box allows the pharmacy to track deliveries in real-time while mapping their inventories to cyclic prescriptions or seasonal demands. It’s almost like having an alternative MedSync for Pharmacy Delivery Automation.
Cost optimization of E-Pharmacy Deliveries with Smart Lockers
Maintaining Contactless operations is going to be a challenge for pharmacy stores that already have a dedicated online customer community. Preference for contactless delivery has increased by 20% for US customers in the last few weeks. Setting up contactless delivery operations is not only a challenge but is also an expensive one. E-Lockers for Online Medicine Delivery with its low contact multi-mode verification interface can help pharmacy stores to set-up fresh low-contact order fulfillment process.
Pick-up and Drop-Off Lockers for Pharmacy reduce the necessity of covering all locations in the region and thus control expenses for the store. The year on year returns of delivery optimization notwithstanding the increase in customer engagement and orders simply bypasses the need to have any physical delivery channels. Now, for stores looking forward to integrating their inventory management with delivery management, smart locker technologies come with proprietary Locker Delivery Management Software which can further reduce the cost of supply-chain operations.
Temperature Controlled Lockers for E-Pharmacy Customers
Managing round the clock deliveries for critical temperature-sensitive medication like hormones, insulin, probiotics, and other biologics is not possible with common third-party delivery partners. Nor is it possible to maintain the isolation period requirements for such deliveries while keeping the temperature requirements. Temperature Controlled E-Lockers can store such supplies for the desired period to ensure delivery convenience. Pharmacies that have not been able to provide home deliveries can even start doorstep operations.
Modern In-Store Experience at Pharmacies
Customers want their pharmacies to use technology for creating engagement experiences. 74% claimed their want for a human-less, automatic, contactless checkout in the long term. Self-Service Lockers are a perfect solution for such delivery automation requirements.
The in-store footfall of Pharmacy stores has higher spending intent compared to at-home customers. Out-of-the-Pocket Payments (OPP) account for 14% of the spending done by an average customer on pharmacy bills. With the automatic lockers in place pharmacy stores can maximize the interaction of customers with the services they have to offer. Customers can get an interactive view of their medication schedule on Locker Panel Screen, they may fetch their monthly expense chart from the store order management system, or they may choose to schedule their next refill. Thus, E-Pharmacy Stores may explore more upselling and cross-selling opportunities with their Smart Lockers.
Smart Lockers Future of E-Pharmacy
E-Commerce Companies spend a fortune on developing systems for consumer behavior studies and financial analytics. Local Medical Stores have an advantage over all this expenditure – the loyalty of their customers. But this loyalty is only good as long as they provide customers with reasonable advantages in terms of prices, experiences, and services. To claim the rightful share of e-pharmacy sales in the coming times, stores will have to upgrade their systems and adopt delivery automation to serve their customers in a more personalized manner.
Smartbox is an advanced electronic lockers manufacturing and software solutions organization offering customizable self-service locker units for medical pharmacies and other industries. With a multi-mode fulfillment system, multi-lingual support, temperature-controlled and weather-proof make these lockers can unlock the whole set possibilities for any e-pharmacy set up anywhere in the world.