- During the health crisis, Top Farma has developed, free of charge, the online store for all pharmacies that have requested it.
- Physical pharmacies have been affected by the economic crisis, with a huge fluctuation in sales: while neighborhood pharmacies increased sales by 20%, those in transit or tourist areas lost 30% of sales in the month of April.
- 41% of pharmacies use social media as a means of communication and information for users.
Barcelona, June 09, 2020.- The economic crisis triggered by the coronavirus pandemic has put many businesses in check, including pharmacies, which have seen their sales fluctuate since the state of alarm began. Not all of them have experienced the impact of COVID-19 in the same way. Neighborhood pharmacies experienced a 20% increase in sales during the month of April, while pharmacies in tourist areas suffered losses of up to 30%, according to data from Top Farma, a company of the Top Doctors group specializing in the digital transformation of pharmacies.
On the other hand, the situation for digitized pharmacies has been totally different. This type of companies, which at the end of 2019 only represented 7% of the Spanish map and had a sustained growth, have seen how during the confinement they have multiplied their sales by 7 through the online channel compared to the same month of 2019. “From Top Farma we wanted to help pharmacies to distribute health products and also parapharmacy, dermatology or dietetics, key products for their profitability during these hard times, and to make this distribution fast and safe for both customers and staff. Pharmacies have become aware of how important it is to take this step towards digital and to help in this urgent change, we have been offering the development of websites equipped with an online store free of charge during these first months of crisis, which has helped the survival of many pharmacies” explains Xavier Mercadé General Manager for Europe at Top Doctors.
Digitalization of pharmacies beyond a website or online store
Digital transformation goes far beyond having a website or an online store. And the health crisis has helped pharmacies to see all the possibilities it offers to reinforce their safety and security, strengthen their business and be closer to customers, communicating with them and breaking the barriers of space and time to offer their services when and where they need them. Having an online presence and brand image, as well as a structured customer communication channel, is something that more and more pharmacies have. In fact, 41% have profiles on social networks as a means of communication and information to users.
“Having an intelligent customer manager, as well as a structured communication channel helps to know the profile of patients and their preferences in order to send them communications with information or advice they may need about the products purchased in the pharmacy. This has a positive impact on sales and at the same time provides value to their customers at such a critical time, generating a positive and personalized experience and therefore building customer loyalty. The challenge for pharmacists is to maintain that market share during de-escalation,” says Mercadé.