When I was growing up, my dad and I used to have regular battles for champion of the Mario Kart world. It's one of my favorite memories (especially as it's the only video game I can ever claim being halfway decent at). So, I was pretty excited when Nintendo announced that they'd be releasing the Super NES Classic console. Basically, an updated copy of the original console pre-loaded with classic games. I was really looking forward to snagging one, even if just to prove to my kids that games weren't always motion sensitive.
But, like so many high demand pieces of technology, there's a big discrepancy between that demand and the available supply. Anyone who has ever taken an introductory Economics class understands the basic theory of supply and demand. It's something that retailers use to create a sense of value and urgency. Sure, it's effective, but it doesn't make it any less irritating.
Luckily for pharmacies, this is not even remotely a viable strategy. If you don't have what a customer wants, they'll just find another retailer that does. However, that doesn't mean that other retail strategies won't work for your pharmacy.
Use pricing strategies – There are a number of tried and true practices that retailers use to drive buyer behavior: buy one, get one free deals (BOGO's), 10 for $10, and imposing limitations on how many of an item a customer can buy.. All are crazy easy pricing strategies that don't have to take a huge chunk out of your bottom line. Check out this article on 5 easy pricing strategies and the reasons they work to drive buyer behavior for other ideas.
Use time to create urgency – If you're going to have a sale, print a coupon, or make a special offer, make sure there's a time limit on it. This strategy creates more value and increases the likelihood of getting that customer to come in and make a purchase.
Leverage the feeling of exclusivity – So many times customers make a purchase just to be a part of something. How many people have an iPhone because it's been the thing to have for so long? Or carry a designer purse for the feeling that carrying it around provides? There's no reason you can't leverage exclusivity in your pharmacy. Loyalty programs allow you to give specific groups of customers, rewards and incentives that not everyone else gets. You can even use loyalty levels to give your best customers an elite status and special rewards.
Just because you can't create urgency or value with limited supply doesn't mean that there aren't other ways to accomplish the same goal. Use your Pharmacy POS system to create pricing strategies, set margins, schedule promotions and implement a robust customer loyalty program.