E-commerce in pharmacies, yes or no?

E-commerce in pharmacies, yes or no?

Ecommerce in farmacia

The doubts of pharmacists on the convenience or not of integrating an e-commerce on the site of their pharmacy are numerous.

Since the door was opened to pharmacies for the online sale of OTC by Royal Decree 870/2013, only 475 pharmacies to date have opted for this modality, subject to authorization from AEMPS, to sell Medicines not subject to medical prescription, and identifiable under this seal:

legal sale of drugs stamp

There are pharmacies that have a long history of online drugstore sales, which rank very well in Google for their years of online activity, expertise in keyword processing, etc., and with whom it is. difficult to compete in terms of price and positioning. .in the search engine, without forgetting the logistics that must be developed to serve an e-commerce and make it profitable.

It goes without saying that giving this possibility to the user improves the image of the pharmacy and generates confidence, differentiates it from others and brings added value. But as mentioned by many experts, one of the brakes to the establishment and success of this type of purchase from users is the large network of accessible pharmacies, spread throughout our geography, as well as the urgency that generally accompanies the decision to purchase these products, which does not allow the 24-hour wait for delivery.

But we have interesting alternatives in pharmacies to offer our customers a similar experience. Let us not forget that one of the riches that the online universe brings to the pharmacy is the equality of opportunity between adults and children.

Electronic commerce in pharmacies. Alternatives:

1.- Click and Collect: Buy online and pick it up at the pharmacy

An alternative mentioned in many forums during the last edition of Infarma in Madrid was to give the possibility to the user of the ‘Click and collect“. It combines the flexibility and ease of online shopping with the closeness and warmth provided by physical pharmacy withdrawal, and without the wait.

Shipping costs are avoided in this possibility of purchase for the user, and the pharmacy is exempted from setting up a logistics platform for delivery and payment methods, cumbersome issues which undoubtedly also slow down the implementation. e-commerce in the sector, in addition to its questionable profitability.

It also gives the pharmacy the opportunity to deal with the customer and get to know them physically and, why not, make another recommendation (cross-sell) at the time of collection, depending on the products they have. added. his basket. (“The real success of the personal brand 2.0 is to end up shaking hands at 1.0, where things happen and happen.… ”).

In addition, it gives the pharmacy the ability to classify its customers in order to segment their campaigns and personalize communication with them. No one is interested in receiving massive, impersonal publicity that has nothing to do with their interests. But what if I buy an anti-acne product and after a while I receive a pharmacy workshop in the mail that deals with this topic? It will definitely make me feel special and well taken care of.

Customer loyalty is built when the pharmacy is able to establish a buyer relationship with them and many other complementary details. If the pharmacy knows the customer’s preferences or recommends a product or service based on their needs and interests, they will be rewarded.

2.- Fees

And if I don’t have a product database integrated with my pharmacy website, I can still offer the option to order through the website by sending a message.

order in pharmacy

3.- Specialization

If I can’t compete with well-positioned pharmacies, I can specialize in a particular market niche, provide its members with quality content through the web and blog, and once positioned in their minds as an expert. in the field, offer them related products. Many pharmacies are already doing it in the offline world, why not take advantage of the endless possibilities of free screening offered by the Internet to be recognized as an expert in a specific discipline?

In this sense, it was very interesting to know more about the project at Infarma Mifertility from the pharmacy of Ignacio Padrino Herrera, which offers high quality content for infertility problems and related products.

I do not need to have a file or information in my online store of all the references that exist, but only those related to the subject in which I decide to specialize.

4.- Proximity marketing

Proximity marketing involves serving customers on their mobile devices with advertisements regarding their geographic location. In other words, it’s local advertising at its best.

There are apps that, once downloaded by the customer, notify promotions in pharmacies near their location.


Ultimately, these are all worthwhile options that improve the customer experience and can in part return the investment in time and effort that a website takes to make the pharmacy profitable. A good job of posting content on the pharmacy social profiles, which increases the traffic to our website, will make it even more efficient.

Do not forget to check the regulations of the Autonomous Community in which your pharmacy is established, the requirements for being in a network and on the Internet as such.

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