For several years, it has been status quo to visit chain pharmacies to obtain prescriptions at lower costs, but are the tides beginning to shift in the favor of independent providers? Large retail chains seem to be losing customers due to lack of service and order fulfillment problems. However, consumers are choosing smaller businesses for a number of additional reasons. To counteract these changes, chains are taking measures to acquire independent pharmacies as well as boost sales.
In certain areas, individuals must drive long distances to reach these pharmacies making it more logical to support local, independent pharmacies. For others, it is the customer-focused service that is contributing to the seen growth. Chains continue to pop-up in more rural areas and this definitely affects numbers. Independent pharmacies who are able to provide the required medications combined with exceptional service have the best chance of staying ahead even when chains move into their area.
What Makes Independent Pharmacies Beneficial?
The growth success of independent pharmacies is occurring for good reason. Customers often go to large chain retailers because they believe they can get the medicine they need at a lower price. However, this is not always the case since some retailers are not permitted to order the subscribed medication. In these situations, consumers can go to an independent pharmacy for their medicine while receiving exceptional customer service. Here are a few more reasons for this shift in consumer preference:
- A Greater Amount of Experience
- A Selection of Hard to Find Items
- Improved Service & Fast Fulfillment
- Easier to Get Expert Advice
- Reduced Individual Wait Times
An exceptional level of personal service and improved availability are two important driving factors for this growth. The number of independent businesses in this consumer area begin to decrease as chains came into the picture during the 90’s. As the years have passed, consumers have started to shift back to independent pharmacies for many of the reasons mentioned above.
What About the Future?
Prescription needs continue to surge for aging populations, making it a good market for independents. This is because these generational customers prefer to stay local and do not like visiting big chains for their medicine needs. Another important factor is a continued increase in the number of drugs made available to consumers. This market will continue to experience increased spending in the years to come. The Affordable Care Act has also driven spending as now more people are able to afford the required medications.
Independents are also taking competitive measures to boost business such as offering specialty services. This includes their own gift cards, deliveries, and more to ensure customers are able to easily receive their prescriptions. Another tactic for getting ahead of large chains has been to tailor services according to community needs. Each of these steps has definitely helped the number of independents to grow. As they find new ways to accommodate their customers, this growth is expected to continue.
At Drug Package, our goal is to provide cost effective, helpful items designed to help independent pharmacies reach their goal. Contact us today to learn more about the products we are able to offer our customers!