Experienced POS VARs (value-added resellers) know that our industry has changed. Gone are the days of simply providing and installing a POS system and walking away. Today’s businesses are looking for long-term partnerships and ongoing support, including business and process consulting and technical support. One of the best vertical markets to target for profitability and long-term growth may surprise you – the retail pharmacy.
What Are The Latest Pharmacy Trends and Changes?
With many products and medications purchased daily, pharmacies have always required advanced POS and inventory systems, given the strict regulatory environment. COVID-19 pushed the industry to review processes and determine the safest ways to get products to customers. “Although they’re already a big player in the market, we know that retail pharmacies have a lot of untapped growth potential and represent a lucrative stream of revenue for VARs across the North and Latin America,” said Mike Hanson, Executive Vice President of Star Micronics.
According to recent data from McKinsey, retail pharmacies are the most popular kind of primary pharmacy, with 47% of respondents selecting it (compared with 20% supermarket pharmacies and 13% online pharmacies).
For retail pharmacies, there are four significant areas of need that POS VARs are well-equipped to help with:
1Cater to a Range of Buying Experiences
Adopting alternative ordering functionality isn’t just a bonus in the digital age – it’s necessary. According to McKinsey, 44% of consumers increased their use of alternative options such as mail-order or home delivery service compared to two or three years ago.
According to data from Wolters Kluwer, 67% of pharmacy users prefer online prescription mail services like Amazon Pharmacy if it reduces drug prescription costs. As a POS VAR looking to cater to retail pharmacies, you must offer POS software that handles RX ordering, fulfillment management, and ecommerce.
Having the right tech in place can help you build upon your brick-and-mortar success—McKinsey reports that 48% of consumers purchase a variety of non-medications at their pharmacy, like food and grocery, beauty products, and household items.
Leverage modern POS technology to incorporate a Buy Online, Pick Up In Store (BOPIS) feature into your software, enhancing customer convenience. The effortless implementation of this service is made possible with top-tier hardware, including advanced label printers, barcode scanners, and precision scales.
2Assist in Reducing Labor Costs
Since 2020, labor shortages have persistently disrupted retail operations. Early 2023 data reveals a continued struggle, with 63% of retailers facing a shortfall in frontline employees. Amidst the competition from various employers, rising wages, and challenges in attracting workers, this era continues to be particularly demanding. The adoption of self-service POS kiosks is gaining momentum to bridge this gap. Retail pharmacies, among others, are increasingly leveraging this technology to meet their labor needs effectively.
A self-service kiosk can:
- Allow retail pharmacy patients to check in or out for vaccination appointments
- Let shoppers make purchases more easily
- Optimize your roles so employees can focus on mission-critical tasks and let technology handle the low-hanging fruit.
If VARs are looking to help clients maximize ROI and stay competitive, it’s essential to be equipped with self-service technology. This readiness enables retail pharmacies to incorporate kiosk terminals or self-service stations effortlessly, using POS stands and pole mounts to transform tablets into versatile kiosks.
3Help Create Room For Growth
Despite an increasingly global market and supply chain, many Americans still trust local experts regarding their health and wellness. According to Wolters Kluwer, 58% of Americans say a local retail pharmacy is their first stop when they experience a non-emergency medical issue. And 81% say they trust providers like nurses, pharmacists, or nurse practitioners to diagnose and prescribe medication.
This level of trust is leading more and more consumers to seek out independent pharmacies. As a POS VAR, you can use this trend to your advantage by helping your pharmacy clients grow into the future.
A POS solution can provide a retail pharmacy with:
- Inventory management capabilities to make the best use of precious space
- Data tracking and reporting metrics to make better decisions
- Integrated accessories like printers, scales, and scanners for an efficient shopping experience.
Self-service kiosks, alternative ordering functionality, and related POS features allow retail pharmacies (and resellers) to compete in a competitive marketplace.
4Adjusting to the Market
In a shifting landscape, you must be flexible according to market trends and conditions. If you haven’t shifted to a software-as-a-service (SaaS) or hardware-as-a-service (HaaS) model for customers, you leave yourself at risk of getting left behind by your competitors.
Some retail pharmacy businesses still prefer to buy a POS system outright. Still, an ongoing SaaS or HaaS payment model has distinct advantages for both resellers and customers:
- Keeps capital expenditure (CapEx) costs low
- Includes IT and tech support when an issue arises
- Usually, it comes with affordable equipment rates rolled in
VARs should consider partnering with other technology providers to expand their offerings to ensure your operation remains at the peak of technology.
Pave the Path to Success for Retail Pharmacies
In a world where precision and efficiency are critical, the multifaceted demands of pharmacies require unique solutions. As a POS VAR, you stand as a powerful resource, helping to merge advanced technology with the distinct requirements of retail pharmacies. Your expertise lights the way for these establishments to navigate the complex digital landscape with confidence.
As a POS VAR, you’re in a unique position to help retail pharmacies:
- Institute ecommerce and delivery functionality to keep up with online ordering trends
- Reduce labor costs by setting up self-service stations
- Help create operational efficiencies via proper hardware and software
Your alliance with the finest hardware and software providers reinforces your indispensable role as a trusted ally in the pharmacy retail sector. Embolden retail pharmacies with the comprehensive, cutting-edge tools they require to ensure success and growth in this dynamic industry.