E15 Navigating -Commerce Spaces: How Pharmacies can Stay Ahead in an Increasingly Online World

Episode 15

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On this episode of the Pharmacy View podcast, Scott talks with Tim Shelton, a community retail Pharmacist with 25 years of experience in the field. Tim is currently working in e-commerce heading up the agency machete.systems, which takes Australian and New Zealand brands and helps them transition into being represented on Amazon.

Scott and Tim tackle the question of whether or not the forced move to e-commerce platforms for pharmacy companies in recent months has been good for them, and discuss both positive and negative ways that different businesses have handled the transition. Tim shares key insights from his experience working with e-commerce platforms to discuss best practices that Pharmacies can adopt to be successful in these spaces. He discusses the customer/seller feedback section on Amazon and how this review platform has made it clear that there are a lot of improvements needed in order to increase customer satisfaction with working with Pharmacies via e-commerce sites. He touches on the importance of Pharmacies garnering a positive social media presence and online reputation, as reviews online can make or break an e-commerce business overnight.

Tim also shares about his experiences using case studies and data gathering when taking on new clients to be able to show the value of what they’ve done with similar clients in the past. Tim encourages Pharmacies to approach existing clients who have had very good experiences, in order to use them as references for gathering data into a case study that can be used to pitch for new business with new clients. He offers tips to Pharmacies on how to use loyalty platforms, customer surveys, and social media polls to capture customer data for use in these case studies.

Scott and Tim discuss the importance of brand building for Pharmacies and how to use social media as a tool to do this. Tim touches on the value of consistency in representation online in order to keep the brand identity uniform across all platforms. By making people feel connected to the brand and like part of “the tribe” instead of just a number, a Pharmacy can increase the customer’s satisfaction a well as loyalty. They wrap up by touching on the importance of CRM systems and how Pharmacies should be using these systems to capture data and connect more easily with customers.

Topics Covered:

  • How Pharmacies have handled transitioning to the e-commerce space in recent years
  • How Pharmacies should be using customer feedback and review sections on e-commerce sites
  • The importance of data gathering and case studies in pitching for new business
  • How to use loyalty programs, customer surveys, polls, and social media to gather customer data for use in case studies
  • Brand-building and outreach strategies for pharmacies in the e-commerce space
  • The value of using CRM systems to connect with customers

Key Quotes:

  • “It’s one thing to put up a website or get yourself noticed on Google, it’s another thing to then maximize that traffic and do something with it and turn it into a commercial dollar.” (2:41)

  • “Some Pharmacies I think see an e-commerce customer as a second-class citizen compared to someone walking in the door, and I think we need to drop that. An e-commerce customer is every bit as much a valuable customer now as someone who’s inside the Pharmacy, and potentially, going forward, even more valuable because you can reach them in so many new ways.” (4:10)
  • “If your Pharmacy or your operation doesn’t dedicate personnel to this emerging and exploding marketplace, you’re just going to repeat the mistakes of the past.” (6:36)
  • You can’t look after your business in one area while ignoring another and and hope the two don’t connect; they just simply will in today’s connected world. (10:00)
  • “When you consider that last year online sales in Australia grew by well over 20% whereas brick and mortar sales grew by 3%, it’s best for business owners in Australia to make sure that they’re putting in just as much, if not more, effort into developing their online capabilities as they do in their in-store capabilities.”  (15:07)
  • “Brand building…is about making a tribe of people that love everything you do, are excited about what you do, and are very happy to promote you.” (17:41)
  • “If you don’t run a CRM currently it’s really high time you did, because when it comes to marketing digitally, if you don’t have a CRM set up you are not able to connect with your customers easily; it becomes a very manual and almost impossible task.” (23:54)

Social Media Clips:

  • The value of e-commerce customers (4:10-4:27)
  • Why and how to use case studies to pitch for new business (7:34-8:41)
  • The importance of focusing efforts on online platforms (15:07-15:27)
  • Building your brand using social media tools (16:17 -16:42)
  • The importance of using a CRM to connect with customers (23:54-24:33)

Connect with Scott

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/scottcarpenter-evbc

Shopfront Solutions

aerion technologies

Connect with Tim:

● https://www.linkedin.com/in/timatmachetetesystems/

● https://www.machetesystems.com.au/articles

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