Looks are important in the world of retail pharmacy. The quality of your customer service and the competitiveness of your prices won't matter if your drugstore has only minimal customer traffic or if those would-be shoppers who do come in leave empty handed or buy little and then don't return again.
The process of warming up your customers for an excellent shopping experience starts before they even enter your place of business. As explained in Rick Segel's book Retail Business Kit for Dummies, just as in selling a house, retail stores have to portray a certain “curb appeal” if they're going to be successful in drawing buyers in. And once in, it definitely doesn't hurt to possess a wow factor that makes visitors feel good they came, encourages them to spend some time shopping, and leaves them with the desire to come back again.
Making a positive impression once customers enter your doors comes down to a combination of factors, and the store layout, including the style and placement of your pharmacy shelving and fixtures, plays a major role here. Customers will often judge your store within the first ten seconds and the first five steps they take into your merchandising area. Here you want everything they see to appear welcoming and to give an impression of what they can expect as they delve farther into the store. Since pharmacies are viewed as healthcare providers, it's important that your store appear clean and organized as well as professional.
With an estimated 90% of an independent pharmacy's revenue being derived from the sale of prescription medicines, it's recommended that the prescription drop-off area be visible from the store's entry area. This entry area should contain some especially hot-selling or seasonal merchandise priced to gain immediate customer attention and to move quickly. The pharmacy shelving used in this area should be attractive and inviting and include informative and/or entertaining signage.
Pharmacy Shelving That's Warm and Inviting
Your store's shelving/fixtures set the tone for your front-end merchandising area and you should view their appearance as seen through your customer's eyes. You want your store to be warm, welcoming and comfortable with merchandise presented in a visually appealing and easily accessible fashion. Your choice of pharmacy shelving and the way it's installed can provide the visual advantage you want.
Today's shelves do a lot more than merely house the merchandise you have on offer. When arranged in a strategic manner, they can be used to direct customer foot traffic in a certain direction to provide maximum exposure to your sales area. Your shelves can also “speak” to your customers, drawing them in for a closer look and encouraging them to buy. Here are some tips to consider:
- Steer away from old-fashioned white, metal shelves that have traditionally been used in pharmacies. If you use metal shelving, opt for something more colorful that ties in with other colors used in the store.
- As an option to metal shelving, consider alternative materials, such as wood, faux wood, glass and acrylic.
- Shelves don't have to be confined to containing straight edges. New styles, such as concave and radius, can give you a curvy look that will invite visitors in for a closer look.
- New options include shelves with built-in lights that can highlight choice items spectacularly.
- Mix and match different styles of shelves to break up the monotony of having identical display shelving throughout the store.
Using your shelves to give your customers a warm, inviting feeling will heighten their shopping experience. They'll appreciate your efforts at creating a comfortable, pleasant shopping atmosphere.