Adding a delivery service can improve your pharmacy growth through new patients and increase your revenue per patient.
As a pharmacy business owner, you’re no stranger to the daily grind of trying to find ways to boost your bottom line and keep your patients happy. But what if we told you there was a way to have great pharmacy growth and have happier patients simultaneously?
Enter: Delivery Services
In today’s world of online shopping and doorstep deliveries, it’s no surprise that patients are starting to expect the same level of convenience from their pharmacies. And who can blame them?
With the ability to order their prescriptions from the comfort of their own home and have them delivered right to their doorstep, it’s no wonder delivery services are quickly coming back in demand.
Sometimes Going Back Is Going Forward
Many independent Pharmacies used to offer delivery services for their communities. And most provided it for free. Then came the PBMs and DIR fees. Since 2010, I would say that delivery service has been the biggest service cut in independent pharmacies. As profits dwindled, it was easy to cut delivery services. You probably didn’t lose too many patients. Even if they were upset, there wasn’t any other pharmacy that would deliver. so it was safe to cut this luxury service.
How quickly the world can change.
The proverbial pendulum has swung the other way with the onslaught of online pharmacies, Amazon Pharmacy, and COVID. Adding or expanding a delivery service will now get you on the same level playing field. Patients are now expecting pharmacies to offer delivery or mailing services. While there will always be patients who love to come inside a store, you should consider adding or expanding a delivery service to grow your pharmacy by attracting new patients and keeping your current ones.
Convenience Is Key
Let’s face it, we live in a world where convenience is king. People are busy, and the last thing they want to do is spend their precious time figuring out how and when to drop by the pharmacy.
That’s where delivery services come in.
By offering delivery, you’re not just meeting your customers’ needs, you’re exceeding them. In fact, a recent survey found that 87% of patients consider convenience an important factor when choosing a pharmacy, and a whopping 62% of them are willing to switch to a pharmacy that offers delivery services.
So why not give the people what they want?
With the ability to order their prescriptions online or over the phone and deliver them right to their doorstep, your customers will sing your praises in no time.
And who knows, maybe they’ll even start referring to you as their personal pharmacy genie.
Increased Sales and Revenue
Offering delivery services isn’t just good for your patients, it’s also great for your bottom line. By bringing the pharmacy to your customers’ doorstep, you’re opening up a whole new world of possibilities for increased sales and revenue.
So why stop at prescriptions?
With a wider range of products and services available through your delivery service, you can give your customers the convenience they crave and the opportunity to add a little something extra to their order.
My delivery drivers always had a bonus goal for OTC sales with their deliveries. They were responsible for asking and reminding patients to buy other stuff from the pharmacy. If they met their goals, then the driver would earn a bonus. Win-Win-Win.
My drivers developed a few systems to help increase OTC sales.
- They always carried everyday OTC items, from allergy to cough and cold to Band-Aids.
- They called patients ahead of time and asked if they needed anything.
- They would automatically include recommended OTC products. If a patient was getting an antibiotic, they would take a probiotic and ask the patient if they wanted it.
- They created an OTC Cheat Sheet that regular delivery patients would keep on their fridges, and they could text their driver things to add to their orders.
All these little tricks helped boost sales and patient satisfaction.
Improved Medication Adherence
Taking medication as prescribed can be a real pill. Between juggling multiple prescriptions, running out of refills, and trying to remember to take them on time, it’s no wonder that medication adherence is a challenge for many patients.
But what if we told you there was a way to make it a little easier?
Patients who receive their medication through delivery services not only have a constant supply of medications but also don’t have to worry about running out or missing a dose. And that’s not just good for their health- it’s for your business too.
By improving medication adherence, you’re helping your patients manage their health conditions better, which can lead to improved patient outcomes and, you guessed it, increased patient loyalty.
One way that we see pharmacies offer delivery services is to tether free delivery with their synchronization program. If a patient synchronized their meds, then they qualified for free delivery. Otherwise, delivery fees can range from $2 to $5.
Keeping Costs Low
While you may think that adding delivery services is cost-prohibitive, you can reduce your expenses.
- In-house delivery drivers are cheaper than using outsourced services.
- Use a company car instead of reimbursing mileage and gas (and now you can write off your car too!)
- Create efficient routes. Instead of going everywhere daily, segment your city into areas so you can deliver in groups and are more efficient.
- Make deliveries free on your schedule or charge a fee if the patient needs it immediately.
- Turn your delivery cars into moving billboards. See the picture below.
Offering delivery services isn’t just a nice-to-have anymore. It’s a must-have if you want to increase revenue and build patient loyalty.
With the ability to provide convenience, improve medication adherence, and offer a wider range of products and services, delivery services are a win-win for you and your patients.
And if you’re not already offering delivery services, now is the time to start. You can ease into it by launching to your sync patients one day a week.
So take that leap of faith and start delivering the goods. Your patients ( and your bank account) will thank you.
Please contact DiversifyRx if you have questions about starting delivery services in your pharmacy. We have had a ton of experience and are happy to help you.