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7 Strategies To Increase Your Pharmacy Sales & Profits

Prescription medicines form the major revenue source for independent pharmacy stores. However, pharmacies rarely rely on prescription medicines alone. Instead, a pharmacy often offers OTC products to increase its sales and maximise its profits.

Indeed, a report by Drug Channels states that the average per-prescription gross margin of independent pharmacies have remained at around 21% for the period 2016 to 2020 ($11.50 to $12.00 gross profit per prescription).

In addition to OTC products, there are many other strategies you can implement to stand out from your competition and gain more customers, eventually maximising profits.

In this article we’ll go through 7 proven strategies you can use to increase your pharmacy sales and profits. Let’s dive in!

For more information on pharmacies, make sure to read our guides below:
How Much Does It Cost To Open a Pharmacy?
How To Open a Pharmacy In 12 Steps
How to Write a Pharmacy Business Plan: Complete Guide
How to Build a Financial Model for a Pharmacy: Complete Guide

1. Offer OTC products

Do some research and find some of the best-selling OTC products such as organic or natural personal care items. According to Grand View Research, the global market size for organic personal care products was $19.3 billion in 2021, and it is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 9.1% from 2022 to 2030.

So, select a range of best-selling products while also ensuring that they are highly profitable. Keep things fresh and put them on display in such a way that they fall in the direct line of sight of your in-store customers.

Give your customers a reason to return to your store even when they don’t need to fill a prescription.

2. Strategically place the OTC products

Acquiring and storing OTC products in your store and hoping that people will just buy them isn’t enough. To maximise visibility, you must strategically place the products and link related products visually. 

For instance, if you are offering organic shampoo, it is highly likely that people will also look for an organic hair conditioner. It makes much more sense to place them together or in the same line so that people notice them.

Again, people who are buying organic products for eye care will also likely purchase vitamins and supplements. So, pairing the products together makes a more logical arrangement.

3. Sell bundled packages

You can bundle products and sell them as single packages. For instance, you can consider bundling a full range of skin care products such as skin lightening, dark blemishes removal, skin tightening, body hair removal, and so on.

Even if a customer purchases the bundle once and never returns to your store ever again, you are still selling more than one product to the person, thereby increasing the customer lifetime value.

4. Train staff to upsell

Your staff can play a very important role in increasing revenues for your pharmacy. Train your staff to recommend and sell products that give a bigger profit margin. The most important thing you need to take care of is that recommendations must be accurate.

For instance, certain skin care products are meant only for dry skin types. So, such products must not be recommended to people with oily skin. Teach your staff the art of marketing by:

  • Educating them about the products.
  • Teaching them how to communicate with customers to get the necessary information before recommending something

Download the Pharmacy budget template

  • Lender & investor-friendly
  • Easy-to-use Excel template
  • CPA-developed financials
  • 30+ charts and metrics

5. Launch a customer loyalty program

Introduce a loyalty program or an incentive program around the OTC products. It works! Antavo (a loyalty management platform) reports that 82% of the customers will continue to buy from brands that they trust even when other brands become trendy.

A robust loyalty program that offers immediate benefits to your customers is more likely to help you retain the existing customers, thereby increasing their lifetime value. All businesses agree that retaining a customer is easier and cheaper than acquiring new customers.

Also, loyal customers are more likely to market their preferred brands using word-of-mouth, which allows for new customer acquisition.  Thus, if you don’t already have a loyalty program in place, this is the right time to introduce one and ensure that it is easy to follow. People will not like it if they need to jump through hoops to get discounts or free products.

6. Expand Services

You can supplement your brick-and-mortar pharmacy store with an online store with multiple features like:

  • Prescription storage in digital format.
  • Automated reminders for prescription filling.
  • Online ordering of prescription drugs and OTC products, etc.

You can even add free home delivery for both online ordering and store purchases (allow customers to just call and ask for home delivery for refills and OTC products).

For home delivery, you can always rely on third-party service providers, or you can put in place your own delivery mechanism.

You can even sell loyalty programs and gift cards (yes, you can introduce gift cards that can be redeemed for both in-store and online purchases).

7. Maintain a blog

Maintaining a health blog is a powerful strategy to increase your pharmacy sales over time only if you have some sort of online store presence.

Indeed, health-related questions get a lot of hits from online searches. Here is a sample of online searches for COVID symptoms only: “covid symptoms” alone generate 5 million views per day..!

Yes, it will be difficult to make a health blog rank high on Google searches, but it is not impossible. You will need to invest in SEO and other online marketing modes to make your blog popular and compete with big names like Healthline, WebMD, etc., but with the right strategy, you can do it.

If you can’t do it yourself, you can always hire SEO agencies who will do everything from creating content for your blog to search engine optimisation, and making the content rank.

As explained earlier, keeping a blog will allow you to dramatically increase your audience and potential customers. Yet, it’s only relevant if you’re selling some products online as otherwise your business is local and you blog would only be for information only..

Selling online doesn’t necessarily mean selling your own inventory. Instead you can opt for affiliation: customers who purchase products on your website are redirected to other resellers and you earn a commission (generally 10 to 30%).

Download the Pharmacy budget template

  • Lender & investor-friendly
  • Easy-to-use Excel template
  • CPA-developed financials
  • 30+ charts and metrics