If you’re a pharmacy owner or manager and your store looks anything like the one represented in this image, it may very well be time to consider incorporating some new, innovative pharmacy solutions. From the linoleum tile flooring to the bright, sterile fluorescent tube lighting, this particular drug store spells anything but warm, inviting or unique. As an independent pharmacy owner, it’s important to implement solutions that will set your store apart from the typical cookie-cutter type establishments that are so prevalent today, especially the non-descript pharmacies run by various big-box chain stores.
To make your store distinctive and unique, there are some proven innovative pharmacy solutions you can incorporate even on a limited budget. A complete remodel will certainly entail a more significant investment, but if done correctly, every dollar spent on innovative upgrades should pay off in the form of more customers who are willing to spend more time and money in your store and return at a later date to shop again. Everything undertaken should be geared toward making your store more inviting and memorable to your clients while also increasing efficiency in both the front and back ends of the pharmacy. Here are some tips to consider:
- Since most of your business profits are likely derived from the sale of prescriptions, it’s important that your backend workflow is as efficient as possible so that customers aren’t kept waiting for their medicines. Today’s technological advancements in automation allow prescription fills to be done by robots, which can help eliminate cross contamination and medication errors, let you maintain the needed inventory with just a computer keystroke or two, and promote a less stressful and more productive environment for your staff.
- Make changes to flooring and lighting. Replace cold, sterile-looking linoleum tile on the floors with hardwood, attractive laminates or even carpeting. Old-style fluorescent lighting can give way to softer, more focused lighting provided by LEDs or compact fluorescent bulbs. This single upgrade will not only reduce the harshness of the inside environment, but also alleviate the headaches and moodiness that are often caused by fluorescent tube illumination. This new lighting scenario should also save energy dollars.
- Further improve the lighting situation by adding some natural sunlight coming in either through large, uncovered windows or skylights. Another recent realization in innovative pharmacy solutions is to bring in some greenery from outdoors in the way of non-flowering plants. These will help clean the air and also add a nice, natural feeling to the store.
- Experts have learned that the typical customer entering a retail space like a pharmacy will usually look to their left but turn and walk to their right. You want to create a natural foot-traffic flow that meanders through your store and leads to all the various sections in your retail merchandising area.
- A new "old-school" idea from pharmacies of yesteryear is the incorporation of coffee bars or soda fountains. Any time you can get your customers to take off their coats and sit for a while should help in boosting sales. It’s a proven fact that the longer people linger in a store (by choice), the more they’ll usually end up purchasing. If nothing else, you need to provide several areas in the store where customers can sit down to rest. These rest spots should be located in areas where seated customers are within view of your different merchandising areas, which should be plainly designated with clear signage.
These are just a few innovative ideas to consider. Implementing them in your pharmacy will help you keep current customers and attract new clientele.