How To Increase Profit In Community Pharmacy Using Supplements

Community/retail pharmacy is a good business venture in Nigeria. It takes time to build customer base. However, after a while the business generate regular profit.
OTC supplements can help boost sales in community pharmacy
OTC supplements
Every business wants to succeed and grow. Most community pharmacy attain such growth with provision of medical advice and prescription refill. But there is one simple secret to increased profit. The sale of over the counter supplements.

Over The Counter (OTC) Supplements

The sales of OTC otherwise called front end products is ever growing. From what is on ground, it is not stopping anytime soon. It is a good place to invest time and energy on. This is because even sales assistant can contribute in selling these products. That makes it a potential to increase sales. So what are the strategies to use in this area?

Market Research

To be able to key into OTC supplements, you need to do a little bit of market survey. These supplements are actually used to supplement treatment of disease conditions. They are not treatment. So the OTC supplement to stock should be those that can supplement prevalent disease conditions of the area. Some drug causes some side effects supplements can help relieve. Example is beta blockers and CoQ10. So you can add supplements based on the drugs you do sell too.
Take about three months analysis of customers disease conditions in the pharmacy. Figure out the OTC supplements that can be added to customers checklist. Note them down. You can stock them. For a start, stock small and affordable quantities. From here, you can add more brand names.

Supplements Arrangement

Since supplements support treatment in some disease conditions, they should be arranged close to drugs for treating such conditions. OTC supplement for heart related conditions should be placed close to the shelf containing prescription only medicine (POM for heart disease. That way, it is easy to shop for supplements by the customer. Their eyes always revolve around the shelf for supplements they may need. And it also makes it easy to introduce the supplements to customers who are buying POM. That is cross promotion.
There is another arrangement that have proven good too. It is having a separate shelf for OTC supplements. In most of those cases, they are the shelf is made conspicuous in a place every customer walking in must see them on display. This makes it easy for customers who like to compare brands to shop for their products. However, this kind of arrangement makes it a little bit difficult to select a good supplement for a particular disease condition especially by sales assistant who may not have a wide knowledge on OTC supplements.

Marketing OTC Supplements

Market OTC supplements when possible. Use every available opportunity to talk to customers about the benefits of OTC. Many may not buy on the first day but it has been registered in their head. They may come back when they have the resources. And that also depends on the cost of the supplement. You can always cater for different price range for your customers.
You should know that medical doctors don't talk about supplements to their patients. That is because many of them do not actually bother themselves with supplements or they don't believe in them. That should be an advantage to use. Ability to explain the benefits of each supplement on a particular disease should be able to convince the customer to buy. Many customers will come to change their mind.
Since sales assistant should be part of the marketing team, you can, as the pharmacist train them personally on how to go about it. Since explaining the benefits of supplements is the key to a successful marketing campaign, they should be taught the benefits of each product to each customer and how best to do it. You can give an assignment to each sales assistant to read on some supplements so that they can market it.

Remove Language Barrier

English language is our official language in Nigeria. Using English language to explain OTC supplements to some people who even hear the English language may not yield positive results. They want to hear it in their own local dialect. Marketing an OTC supplement using local dialect or the language of the customers can increase sales 10 fold. It appeals to the customer sense of reasoning and makes them more comfortable and willing to buy and use them. For this reason, hire staff that can speak in the different dialects in the area.

Reward Staff

This does not need to be stressed. Promise your staff some percentage for each OTC supplement they sell and see the market. Fulfill your promise as at when due. Many customers believe what their medical doctors have told them about pharmacist trying to fleece them of their hard earned money by selling OTC drugs they do not need. That makes them more curious to buy anything else the pharmacist recommend except for the one their medical doctor prescribed. However, they fall more easily for these sales assistant because they believe they are doing it without anything attached but for their benefits. Using their local dialect makes it more convincing.
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