Online pharmacies and digitalization, the challenges for retailers

Italians are increasingly buying health products online. Data collected by AboutPharma together with Netcomm tell about this. In 2021 the increase in e-commerce of Health and Pharma products is around 43%. Although the growth is lower than in 2020 (+86% on the previous year, but weigh pandemic and lockdown), the value generated by online sales has reached a total of 1.5 billion euros, with an average per capita expenditure of about 80 euros in the last twelve months, but this expenditure grows up to 112 euros on average for regular online buyers.

In Italy, the online purchasing experience (regarding all goods and services) involves 28.5 million individuals. Among these, there are 18 million (63.2%) individuals who have made at least one purchase of health and wellness products online in the last 12 months, while 5.6 million have made purchases at least 4 times in 2021. While in past years regular online drug buyers were concentrated in the middle age groups, between 45 and 54, now the “typical” customer is significantly younger with a high concentration in the 25-44 age groups. Regarding the types of online Health & Pharma sellers, the shares of specialized sector eRetailers are growing the most, with double-digit growth. If 2020 represented the year of the definitive consecration of online pharmacy, 2021 tells us that the impulse to the web triggered by the pandemic is destined to leave a legacy and will not be an isolated case.With the achievement of a customer base with significant numbers, the operators of online pharmacies are called to develop the best strategy to win a  competitive challenge increasingly full of protagonists.

According to us at Premoneo, there are 3 key challenges on the table for these companies:

Online pharmacies and digitalization, the challenges – 1 Building a winning shopping experience

Post-Covid, most consumers have turned to the web and have become accustomed to getting products delivered to their doorstep within hours and in a few clicks. Amazon has raised, and not a little, the bar on service levels. To offer a fast and effective shopping experience, it is not enough to focus on the User Experience of the purchase page. Delivery speed, packaging quality and returns management are the main aspects on which customers’ judgement focuses. Putting the web side by side with physical stores can entail a major overhaul of logistics processes and coordination between the physical and online sales channels. To make these processes effective, it is necessary to organize oneself to be able to anticipate demand, based on sales histories and forecasts. For this reason, in Premoneo, we propose the application of forecasting models useful to better organize supplies and warehouse management.

Online pharmacies and digitalization, the challenges – 2 No customer is an island

E-mail marketing, social networks, loyalty cards: there are several points of contact with the customer and to build an omnichannel approach in the pharmacy it is important to centralize all this information and make them communicate with each other, to obtain profiling of your customer that can allow an effective collection of data. Master data and purchasing habits can represent a pool of information on which to build a special relationship with each of your customers. For this reason, in Premoneo, we propose the use of a technology that allows a rapid and real-time analysis of the data that best describes the customers, an interface that can be used both in the back-end and directly in the pharmacy, to offer each customer a completely personalized experience with specific offers.

Online Pharmacies and Digitization, the challenges – 3 Advanced Pricing

Adopting an omnichannel approach does not necessarily mean equalizing the online catalogue with the online one, nor does it mean adopting the same pricing policies in-store and on the web. Fundamental is intelligent planning to define, based on data and evidence collected by analyzing history, margins and commercial objectives, if and how to differentiate catalogues, if and how to differentiate prices and promotions. In Premoneo we accompany our clients in the definition of an evolved pricing strategy, supported by mathematical models and artificial intelligence algorithms, with measurable objectives and an assured marginality growth, without forgetting the construction of a transparent and trustworthy relationship with its

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