Curb Appeal: 5 Low-Cost, Front-End Pharmacy Refresh Strategies

Oct 25, 2018 | Independent Pharmacy Insights, Pharmacy Growth

Curb Appeal is defined as “the attractiveness of a property and its surroundings” or the “landscaping of a front entrance.” And, let’s be honest, there is no denying that if you’re getting ready to spend your hard-earned money, you’re going to be more likely to do so if what you’re looking at is pleasing to the eye.

When it comes to your pharmacy, one of the biggest opportunities to increase sales comes from your front-end. Your pharmacy’s front-end is it tip-top shape, right? Sure, you’ve straightened-out and pulled items forward to make a nice, pleasing wall of merchandise with no gaps, and swapped out the Halloween themed products for Christmas. But, what else have you done to polish your front-end? When was the last time you looked at your front-end the way a customer would?
It’s probably been a while, and that’s okay. The front-end is an area that’s rarely re-imagined unless there’s a holiday or an event in your community. And, even then, there’s usually just a swap-out of one type of themed merchandise for another.

A bland and boring front-end can equal lost sales opportunities. So, we’re here to give you a few low-cost strategies that will allow you to generate more revenue from your front-end. These quick front-end makeover ideas and refreshes won’t break the budget and can more than pay for themselves.

Now, let’s breathe some new life into your front-end sales!

Strategy #1: Declutter and Deep-Clean

“Cleaning and organizing is a practice not a project.”
––Meagan Francis

One-half of polled consumers avoid businesses because of unappealing exteriors. One-third leave businesses before making a purchase because they aren’t clean enough.

We know you already keep your front-end clean, but it may be time to take it just a bit further. With “budget friendly” in mind and requiring little disruption to daily traffic, it’s time to roll up those sleeves and remove excess clutter and deep clean that front-end!

  • Clean your front windows
  • If possible, consider durable, mobile, seasonal curbside décor:
    • A bench that can be brought in each night
    • A living Christmas (or holiday) tree that can be donated each year
    • Dried corn stalks with sunflowers and ribbons
    • Pumpkins and gourds
  • Remove fingerprints from glass on doors
  • Throw out old flyers, coupons, or papers
  • Sweep your entryway (and don’t forget the corners!)
  • Dust shelving and products
  • Clean off light fixtures (wall switches and overhead/hanging fixtures)
  • Wipe down counters, trim, and registers

Strategy #2: Swtich-It-Out

Decluttering and deep cleaning can only take your front-end so far. Some things might need to be switched out or replaced.

One good example of must-do replacements includes your entry rugs. These items are excellent for helping to keep excess dirt and moisture away from your floors, but they generally take a heck of a beating. If your entry rugs are showing signs of age (fraying at the edges, dulled color, etc.) consider replacing them with updated versions.

What about your light switches? Switch plates can crack easily and, they’re one of the easiest things to replace. Yet, so many times we resort to some tape to hold them together for just a little while longer. Honestly, you can probably get a new plate for the same amount you’d spend on a roll of tape –– or less. Replace them!

Strategy #3: Switch-It-Up

Dusting, cleaning, and replacing is a great way to get your front-end looking its best. But sometimes even this isn’t enough. Every piece of your front-end design –– from the lighting to the rug color – will influence how customers view and respond to your pharmacy. In one study, 60 percent of consumers polled said they decided not to go into a store because the outside was uninviting. And, let’s be honest, most people hear the term “independent pharmacy” and think: dusty and outdated.

You have the power to show your customers that your pharmacy is not only inviting, but up-to-date and cutting edge. And, the best place to start is with your storefront:

Check your sign! Is it old? Faded? Broken? Think about refreshing or replacing this very prominent architectural piece
Replace burned out lightbulbs and increase the lighting so your store appears warmer and more visible.

Other features you may want to look into:

  • New display cases
  • New paint schemes
  • Open floor plans and wider aisle spaces
  • Wider seats in waiting areas
  • Contemporary overhead music

Strategy #4: Visual Merchandising

Visual merchandising is defined as how you display your product to maximize sales and give customers an exciting shopping experience.

Yes, shopping can be exciting! And, how you arrange your front-end will affect the way your customers shop.
Visual merchandising should be employed throughout your pharmacy, but we’ll touch on only front-end merchandising in this blog. We don’t want to overwhelm you. Some tips for the most effective visual merchandising of your front-end include:

  • Put seasonal merchandise and smaller margin items at the front-end of your store –– this will help cut down on having leftover stock that needs to be marked down at the end of the season
  • Place high margin items at the front of your pharmacy and to the right. It accommodates how your customers scan your store. Some high margin items include:
    • Sunglasses displays
    • Back to school items
    • Single serving snacks and drinks
    • Batteries and small electronics

In addition:

  • Place shopping carts and baskets at the front entrance (shoppers are five to ten times more likely to purchase more when a shopping basket is handy)
  • Place the most sought-after items at eye level
  • Make use of plan-o-grams (diagrams that show how and where specific retail products should be placed on retail shelves or displays to increase customer purchases –– you can find them in large space planning and retail space management software applications)

Strategy #5: Revisit and Rethink

At the end of each season, you should revisit your front-end sales data and make sure the merchandise you’re featuring is profitable.

Determine which products sold well and which ones didn’t. Rethink the products that didn’t perform and replace them with newer, more exciting offerings (like niche product stations such as outdoor survival gear for mountainous regions, sun health products for tropical climates, etc.

Closing Thoughts

Refreshing your pharmacy’s front-end doesn’t have to mean investing thousands of dollars in rehabs and remodels –– it can something as simple as an updated sign, a scrub-down, and savvy product placement. These practical, easy-to-implement strategies can help customers notice your pharmacy and, most importantly, spend their money on your offerings.

Has your pharmacy recently reworked its front-end? Did you use one of these strategies? Have you found a particular strategy or tip that works better than another? How has your pharmacy’s front-end sales improved –– or not –– from your front-end refresh?

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.