You’ve built your retail pharmacy on trust earned by years of advocating for your customer’s health and wellness, offering quality products and services at a fair price. Now, with COVID – 19 making social distancing the new normal, you can leverage that trust to take your pharmacy online today. But how do you easily manage inventory between your online and physical store? How do you ensure that you can offer the same products and services online without sacrificing the quality shopping experience that your customers have come to expect?
By integrating your ecommerce and brick-and-mortar point-of-sale solution using ecomdash, you can eliminate a lot of the problems that pharmacies experience when selling through multiple channels. Here are 4 tips to take your retail pharmacy online successfully:
Simplify Product Management
Ecommerce should open up new markets and opportunities for you, not become a cost center.
You already have all of your SKUs set up in your Point-of-Sale system, so it’s important to choose a solution that will allow you to automatically synchronize that information to your ecommerce platform.
This will eliminate data entry errors while freeing up staff to serve customers and fulfill orders. Choose a product listing tool that allows you to easily expand to multiple marketplaces while keeping tracking of your products.
Streamline Inventory Management and Fulfillment
As an independent retail pharmacy, you probably don’t have a warehouse filled with staff waiting to fulfill orders. Most likely, you work hard to streamline and right-size the inventory in your store.
Don’t let adding an ecommerce store cause extra work and discrepancies in your inventory.
Link your ecommerce platform to your in-store retail management system to ensure “one version of the truth” to make fulfillment and replenishment more accurate.
Ensure a Consistent Customer Experience
Your customers have come to know and trust your brand. They keep coming back because they know what to expect. Don’t let the online experience undermine that trust.
Ensure that products, pricing, and promotions are consistent between your brick-and-mortar and online stores. Avoid errors and costly mistakes by having a point-of-sale system that makes it easy to synchronize pricing with your online store.
Measure. Measure. Measure.
You know your retail pharmacy like the back of your hand. You already leverage the reporting and analytics of your in-store point-of-sale and retail management system to help make smart decisions for your business. What about the online store?
Ecommerce may be new to you and it’s important that you get the right information to help you learn and adjust on the fly. The saying goes, “you can’t manage what you can’t measure,” so make sure you’ve consolidated reporting between your online and physical store. Make smart inventory investments, sell at the right price, adjust your product mix, and serve your customers as efficiently as possible.
Show You Care
Pharmacies, like all retail businesses, are challenged by the COVID–19 pandemic. While we would like nothing more than to have lots of customers in our stores right now, we know that’s not responsible.
As a leader in your community and a trusted advisor, it’s important to not only talk the talk but walk the walk.
Show that you’re serious about your customer’s health by making it easy to follow social distancing protocols. Start offering curbside pickup and delivery services. Launch an online store to show that it’s important that your customers get the health products they need in the safest way possible.
Taking your brick-and-mortar pharmacy online can be a great way to find new customers, grow your sales, and show your existing customers that you care. However, it isn’t always a walk in the park. Be sure to do your research, take your time when choosing the right partners and solutions, and you should be successfully managing an omnichannel retail business in no time. Make selling online easy by linking your online marketplace to a compatible in-store point-of-sale and retail management system.
About the Author – Josh Wintoniak is the Sales Manager at Auto-Star Compusystems. Auto-Star helps retailers of all sizes manage their Pharmacy, Grocery and Health businesses with innovative point of sale and retail management solutions. Auto-Star’s retail management solutions are integrated with the ecomdash multi-channel inventory management app making it easy for bricks and mortar retailers to manage their online business.