The choices you make when setting up your pharmacy design are vital to how much front-end merchandise you sell. The way that you organize and display your wares can either improve or decrease your retail sales.
Of course, the art and science of merchandising isn't a problem if you choose to run an apothecary-style pharmacy, in which you have very little space for merchandise displays. However, if you do have the space to sell additional merchandise, you'll want to use it wisely.
- Change the front end of your pharmacy design regularly
Rotate the products you display at the front end on a regular basis so that they don't become "old hat" to your regular customers. It's a good idea to change your layout based on key holidays, community events, or even health-habits. For example, promote greeting cards in December and February; highlight back to school products towards the end of summer; and feature weight loss products or nicotine replacement therapy products in the beginning of the new year.
Be sure that either your shelving units are sturdy enough to be moved without breaking, or that they can provide you with a variety of display options for different merchandise (i.e. hooks, baskets, shelves, etc.) that don't require relocating the shelving unit itself.
- Set up window displays
If you have the ability to utilize window displays, make sure that you display products that will entice people walking by to come in. The window display space is best used to showcase products that are on sale or that are involved in some sort of promotion, such as a BOGO (Buy One, Get One at a discount) promotion.
- Be sure to cross-sell merchandise
Cross-merchandising is a common and effective sales technique that helps to encourage impulse buys. An example of cross-merchandising could be to display your analgesic products alongside your feminine care products... or body washes next to shampoos. Your goal is to make it easy and convenient for your customers to access the items that they might have otherwise considered going elsewhere to purchase. By ensuring that you have adequate shelving space to display multiple types of products, you can simultaneously better meet your customers' needs and increase your sales.
- Don't depend too much on end caps
The end caps on your aisles can be a great way to promote certain merchandise since they "stick out" as customers walk down the aisles. However, unless you also utilize a strategic traffic pattern (using different flooring, paint striping, or lighting) to subconsciously direct your customers to walk past those shelves, they may never even see the merchandise you have displayed there. Be sure to consider ways to enhance your customers' shopping experience, even if they think they're only coming in to pick up their prescription.
- Don't overuse standalone merchandisers in your aisles
Yes, these free-standing display units do draw attention to the products you are promoting. However, since you are a pharmacy, your customers will be more prone to needing to maximize your aisle space. Walkers, wheelchairs, crutches, and breathing-assistance apparatus are items that you may see customers utilizing in your store on a daily basis, so do consider other display shelving options in your aisles, such as slatwalls, instead. Strategically place the standalone shelving in spaces where your customers can still easily navigate around them.
- Know who your customers are
The demographics of your customers have a real impact on the sale of your merchandise. For example, if most of your customer base consists of senior citizens, then perhaps baby care products or body building supplements aren't going to sell as well. Make the most of the space you have by dedicating the most shelf space to the items that will be the most popular with your customers.
- Know what products will sell
In addition to knowing who your customers are, it is also important to understand that certain products generally simply sell well in pharmacies. Hygiene products, vitamins, greeting cards, and feminine care products tend to sell well in pharmacies, so be sure to incorporate space and specific shelving for these items into your pharmacy shelving design.
- Light your retail space well
Lighting is essential to not only drawing attention to your products, but making them look attractive as well. Besides your general lighting, you should use accent lighting to highlight new products and seasonal items. You can use light bars and rope lighting within your displays and cases and install spotlights on displays on the back walls to draw customers all the way through your store.
If your pharmacy offers front-end merchandise to your customers, make sure to keep these tips in mind in order to create a pharmacy design that best promotes the sale of your retail products... it's a win-win for you and for them!