With declining margins from PBMs and increased competition from chain retail pharmacies, independent pharmacies are getting creative in how they approach their community’s –– and customer’s –– needs.
Niche markets make it possible for independent pharmacies to diversify their offerings, a key component to increasing their revenue streams and engaging their customers. In addition, by providing niche services, pharmacies can prove their value to the communities they serve while also expanding market reach –– which can be an effective counterbalance to those declining margins!
That’s why we’ve put together a list of five possible niches your independent pharmacy can implement, and several tips on how to uncover other niches that might be beneficial for your community and patients.
1. Medication Synchronization – Improve workflow, reduce inventory turnover, and increase medication adherence? Absolutely! By implementing a medication synchronization program for customers who take multiple medications (five or more), your pharmacy can realize these cost saving (and profit producing) outcomes also while improving relationships with your customers.
2. Offer Expanded Services and Learning Opportunities – Become your community’s “go-to” for disease-specific services. Examples include:
Diabetic supply scheduling
Vaccination services (including travel vaccinations)
Weight Management Classes
Healthy Seniors Programs
3. Prescription Delivery & Pickup Services – Offering prescription delivery and pickup services in your community allows you to forge stronger patient relationships and opens up the opportunity to partner with local senior centers and assisted living facilities.
4. Become a Medicare Expert – During Medicare open enrollment, have a designated team member who can contact customers and schedule appointments to review potential plans and help them get the coverage options right for them. This will boost your pharmacy’s standing as a leader in Medicare knowledge as well as help gain additional revenue through your customer’s word-of-mouth.
5. Update Your Inventory – Consider offering gluten free, organic, and vegan products within your store –– from snacks to cosmetics to shampoo, these products have the potential to be a big draw for new customers.
Uncovering Your Pharmacy’s Niche
Being able to uncover which niche(s) are right for your pharmacy comes down to knowing your customers and your community. For example:
If you’re located in a high-senior area, Medicaid and prescription delivery/pickup would work quite well.
If you’re located in an urban community, vegan, organic, and gluten-free options would sell well.
If you’re located in an industrial community, offering health learning programs might be a strong bet.
If you’re located in a beach community, or slope-side, offer a thoughtful and effective selection of sun protection products.
Knowing the community you serve, as well as those who live there, will help your pharmacy uncover niches that will bring in the riches.
Focusing on a niche services doesn’t mean revamping your entire pharmacy. In fact, it can be as simple as keeping an open line of communication with your customers. With a little effort and some creative planning on your part, you can take advantage of a common need that even your community might not be aware it’s missing.
Has your pharmacy found a niche to offer? Are you offering one niche or have you taken on multiple? Do you have a strategy or tip you used to help uncover that niche? How has your pharmacy’s revenue or foot traffic improved –– or not –– from your new niche offering?
We’d love to know and may even share those experiences in future blog posts, white papers, and e-books. If you’d like to add your experience, please contact Jessica Gardner.
And, of course, be sure to subscribe to our blog for more tips, insights and bulletins that can help grow your pharmacy and save you money – all from your partners at AlliantRx.