Is your Pharmacy team ready for the move to electronic shelf labels and digital communication?
I was helping one of my neighbors this week when in conversation it was revealed that the lady had retired from over 35 years work as a Pharmacy assistant. Did we have a lot to talk about! After some discussion I was reminded about the long-term value that good Pharmacy assistants provide to every Pharmacy business.
This lady, like many I have met along my Pharmacy journey had been there to help up to four generations of local families spread across grandchildren, children, parents, and grandparents. In many instances the daughters were bringing the grandchildren to this Pharmacy even though they now lived out of the area.
I think we often forget that local Pharmacy teams have a lifetime of patient interaction (potentially much more than the Doctors) and show that good customer care and confidence will override any discounted price discussion for loyalty and repeat business. In listening to this lady’s history, the number of scripts dispensed and children’s Panadol sold to the local community was too numerous for her to recall exactly, however the care and pride in looking after her customers and their families still showed in her eyes as we reminisced.
At one point the conversation came around to the changes in processes and technology in that time including that in the 70’s & 80’s we had both used a Monarch label gun to price mark front of shop stock. We agreed this label marking process was onerous/repetitive and would often distract team members from what they did best, providing ‘great customer service and care’.
So it wasn’t surprising that in the late 90’s/early 2000’s as technology advances progressed that the pricing guns were stowed away in a cupboard (to eventually one day being thrown out) and Pharmacies moved to POS systems that included the use of more permanent shelf price ticketing (SKU or Stock Keeping Unit labels).
POS systems, still in use today in most Pharmacies allows for the stock to be quickly put onto the shelf to sell and the SKU ticket remain there every day as part of Planograms and Customer price identification only to be replaced if the price or description changes or the product is deleted from the range.
Not surprisingly our conversation moved to today’s use of electronic shelf labels which we both agreed cannot be too far away from becoming the norm. While we have both seen the new ESL’s in one of our local IGA supermarkets, recent discussion here with Shopfront clients is indicating that several pharmacies and groups are investigating the technology and analyzing the benefit it may bring to Customer service and sales in their business.
‘The ability for an ESL to communicate more than just a price to Customers is a value add that needs some consideration as these silent customer service initiatives and digital communications generate activity for any business by delivering a level of information at shelf or entry that can influence and encourage support of your products or services’. Shopfront Solutions
Australian based Shopfront Solutions known within the Australian Pharmacy industry for their shelf marketing communications platform and currently providing service & support to over 1,500 independently owned Pharmacies including the Pharmacy Alliance, Chempro and Pharmacy Choice membership groups. Shopfront have recently partnered with Australian based business In2Digital to become a leading player in the Australian digital communication and display marketplace.
In2Digital supplies new generation Electronic Shelf Labels from global ESL leader Solum (A Samsung Company) and focuses on helping businesses including Pharmacies, realise the benefits of Digital Transformation by delivering a full scope of integration services required to Design, Plan, Deliver and Manage Innovative Digital Solutions. Find out more about In2Digital
Together both businesses provide a cloud-based price and digital marketing platform specifically designed with Pharmacy at the core and includes a mobile App for ease of use print technology and digital communication management.
So, if you’re ready to take your valued team on the next phase of the Pharmacy Customer service journey using digital ESL communications, feel free to contact myself or the team at Shopfront Solutions
Scott Carpenter – Head of Sales & Business Development Shopfront Solutions M: 0490 705 651