Pharmacy is a very competitive business. It’s also a business where everyone sells pretty much the same items, so it’s not about what’s sold; it’s about how it’s sold. And, that’s where the independent pharmacy has a real advantage.
Studies have shown that the customer experience is highly correlated to loyalty. In one study by the Temkin Group, modest improvement in the customer experience could increase revenue 14-38 percent, and the largest gains were in the retail segment.
The two most important factors in the customer experience are the store itself and your employees.
The appearance and layout of your pharmacy can make a huge difference. An organized store makes them more at ease. A clean, up-to-date store shows customers you care enough to do whatever it takes to make it better.
When the doors open, what do they see?
While the pharmacy experience begins when they pull into the parking lot, it really escalates when they enter your store. Your entrance is a transition zone. They are thinking about other things as they walk into the store and it takes a few steps for them to transition to their mission in the store.
With them transitioning, you don’t want to attempt much at the entrance because they will miss virtually everything there, whether it’s a display or a sign.
Even the doors you have can make a difference. As convenient as automatic doors are, they actually enlarge the transition area because they don’t slow the entrance. Revolving doors are even worse because they sort of throw one into the store.
You want to try to keep that transition area as small as you can. Different carpeting or flooring can help do this, as can special lighting. A lot of retailers use large displays just beyond the transition zone to slow shoppers and provide a billboard of sorts.
In the blog discussions to come, we will see how to design your environment for customers, and layout items and displays to promote more time spent in your store.
Sources: Why we Buy, The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill, and Buy-ology. The Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Martin Lindstrom.