Is it time that independents gave up on retail and instead concentrated on the professional side of their businesses? Ross Ferguson investigates.

Missed yesterday’s episode? Click here

Patient motivation

According to Numark, patients’ motivation and decision making processes differ depending on the product type they are searching for.

Some require more brand loyalty while others are price focussed, with some purchases determined through core ingredient/brand/size, and others through format. For example:

* Brand: Nurofen, Cuprofen
* Ingredient: ibuprofen, paracetamol.
* Size: 12s, 24s, 48s
* Format: soluble, tablet, caplet

“Another factor for patients to consider is whether they require advice on the product they are searching for, whether this is clinical advice or benefits of the product,” says Cathy Crossthwaite, Numark’s marketing co-ordinator.

“For example, the vitamins, minerals and supplements category can often cause confusion, with odd product names and multiple ingredients in a single product, patients often don’t know what they are searching for and what will be of benefit to them.

“Pharmacy staff can provide customers with appropriate advice relating to the type of vitamins that will suit their lifestyle.”

Merchandising tactics

Effective merchandising is another important element in getting the retail offer right, as patients only spend a short amount of time browsing for products at a fixture; even less if they’re poorly organised, emphasising the importance of getting shelf arrangement absolutely perfect.

This means placing products that might be used together adjacent to each other on the shelf to ease the retail journey.

“If a patient needs shampoo, they are likely to need conditioner too and maybe even some hairspray. It is important that these products are found next to or near to each other in the shop. This is the way adjacencies work,” says Crossthwaite.

Such a simple adjustment to the way you display products can really help to boost your sales by encouraging customers to make linked purchases. “Throw in some multi-buy promotions and you have the necessary tools to draw customers in and increase sales,” she advises.

Product adjacencies also help build regime into your planograms, promoting increased basket spend.

“When merchandising, think of a common daily process from the patients’ perspective and the order in which they would complete this task, so if you take a daily skincare regime, the process would look like this: Face wipes, eye makeup remover, cleanser, toner, serum, day/night moisturiser.

"Merchandise in this order and you have provided your customers with a great range of products to cover their entire routine. Without displaying these products together, customers won’t necessarily make the link and are more likely to only buy a single product.”

Want to know more about the future of retail and collect our tips? Join us again tomorrow.