What brings a customer to a pharmacy? With an ever expanding service offer as well as an extensive over the counter (OTC) product range, dispensing and, increasingly, information and support, the ways Community Pharmacy can engage with a customer base continues to evolve. Yet while the increased remit offers significant opportunities to increase customer numbers and drive new revenue streams, it also creates challenges.
What is the best way to capture customer attention? What information will resonate? Are individuals looking for updates on new products, information on services or, while the pandemic continues, essential NHS messaging? With stretched resources and limited marketing expertise, for many Community Pharmacy owners, this is one aspect of the business that can languish on the ‘too hard’ list.
As we discuss in this blog, however, the latest generation of digital signage technology not only makes in store advertising and messaging incredibly easy but also far more effective, allowing Community Pharmacy to capture and retain customer attention while maximising the time available for patient facing interaction.
For any Community Pharmacy it can be virtually impossible to find the time to update window displays or put up new posters. Not only can the store look tired but also customers do not have a fast, straightforward way to find information, leading to additional questions for already stretched staff. Digital signage, in contrast, is designed to catch the attention of consumers and deliver messages that are created specifically to reflect current needs and opportunities.
Showing graphics, video, and other content on anything from small form factor screens to giant video walls, digital adverts and messages are more versatile and attention grabbing: digital signs capture an average of more than 400% more views than that of static signs. For Community Pharmacy, opting for a digital screen with ready-made, relevant content including NHS and public health compliant messages that can be scheduled can save time – and improve customer perception.
Attract the Attention
The attention grabbing nature of highly visual digital signage makes this a great option for in store windows – attracting new customers and providing a chance to showcase new service offerings. There is also an opportunity to leverage digital signage to generate additional revenue by using the signage to present advertising – for example from over the counter (OTC) product suppliers. Even simple messaging about whether services can be currently booked in store can entice customers in – while also minimising the need for staff to answer the same, endless questions.
The right digital screen technology is important here as standard television screens do not prevent reflection. This would make the messages on screen useless if they cannot be read in sunlight and would affect the visibility of the message.
Capture the Queue
One of the biggest concerns for busy Community Pharmacies is managing customer queues – especially during times of social distancing. On average patients spend six minutes waiting to collect their prescription and customers forced to wait can become agitated, creating an even more stressful working environment for staff. One of the additional benefits of digital signage is that it can capture customer attention – and distract them while queueing.
As cited in The Psychology of Waiting Lines, “Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time” – a statement backed up by research. While a recent study on checkout lines confirmed 69% of shoppers said long lines were the most irritating part of shopping - 84% of those customers said watching digital displays helped them pass the time while they waited. For Community Pharmacy, there are so many ways in which this medium can be used – from simple healthy living advice to information about new services such as smoking cessation. Promoting OTC items on an internal digital display screen while customers are waiting for a prescription can even boost sales.
Tailor the Message
One of the biggest benefits of digital signage is the ease with which messaging can be changed and updated – something that has proved a real benefit during the constantly changing advice during the pandemic. For any business worried about how to create and schedule effective imagery, Cegedim’s Pharmacy Display has packages which encompasses the entire solution for pharmacies. It can combine high quality digital displays for use both in the store and windows with a web-based content management system and scheduling tool, as well as access to a full suite of managed content created by our team – including up to date content from the NHS and PHE.
Using this solution pharmacies are in control. They can choose either to use a full range of up to date, compliant, assets or to create their own. They can explore the intuitive solution to plan and execute the marketing campaign or simply make changes whenever time allows. They can opt for pharmacy specific health messaging or strong calls to action to drive positive patient behaviours – or both. Essentially with the ability to present customers with a rolling stream of up to date, engaging content while they wait, pharmacies can transform engagement while still ensuring the team has the time to focus on patient care.
Fully Managed Solution
For those who are most time starved, but still want the benefits from digital screens in their stores and windows, a fully managed package may be better suited. This gives pharmacies the advantages of digital engagement without any onus on the creation or scheduling of content, this is usually quick and simple to implement and with the Content Manager package from Pharmacy Display you get regional content, updated frequently, created and managed by Cegedim’s expert team.
When it comes to customer communication Community Pharmacy has two key needs: reduce the need to answer the same questions again and again and increase awareness of the products and services available to increase revenue.
Digital signage offers a simple, effective solution to both problems, especially with access to a pool of trusted content that makes it easy to pick and choose the messaging and adverts that meet each business’ goals. From promoting health checks, increasing product sales or highlighting the latest NHS advice, digital signage solutions totally change the customer experience. Customers are engaged, the pressure on staff reduced and revenue increased – without any reduction in critical patient facing time.