5 Decisions to Prepare for Your Pharmacy's Busy Season

As we dive into winter, there are many considerations for your pharmacy to maximize profits and maintain great customer experiences. Here's our top 5.

Is it the holiday season or cold & flu season? For pharmacies, especially retail pharmacies, it's likely both. This means that as we dive into the winter months, there are a lot of different considerations for pharmacies to make sure they are maximizing profits and maintaining great customer experiences. Here are the top 5 decisions you should be making soon.

1. Staffing & Hours

Whether it’s vaccines, vitamins, gifts, or all 3 driving more traffic than usual for your pharmacy this season, you’ll want to evaluate your store hours and staffing to make sure everything is on point. Do you need to open earlier or close later? Do you have adequate team members on the floor during your peak hours? Use reports from your point-of-sale system to evaluate traffic based on set blocks of time and days of the week. Use information about previous years to make data-driven operational decisions.

2. Displays & Merchandising

No matter what products or services are driving winter traffic, how you display, merchandise and/or market them is important. If you’re driving gifts or holiday-themed items, think about how you can prominently display them. Make your displays and signage attractive, eye-catching and festive. Plan what displays you'll change, what products you'll feature, who will be responsible for executing the vision and when you want each display to be updated throughout the season. 

3. Gift Cards

If you offer store-branded gift cards, make sure you have them on display in an area where the highest number of people will see them. A great spot is at the register, as well as in any gift departments and/or greeting card sections.

4. Charitable Giving

There are a number of awesome ways to give back to your community during the holiday season. Now's the time to decide on what charitable giving you'll sponsor or participate in and start planning. Here are some quick ideas:

  • Partner with a charitable organization as a drop off point for clothing, food, or toy drives. This drives traffic to your pharmacy and there are a ton of great ways to make the most out of every visitor. Check out this video with some easy tips from Dr. Lisa Faast. 

  • Implement checkout charity. Offer customers the option to donate at the register by asking if they'd like to round up for charity or add on a dollar amount to their purchase. This should be easily managed through your POS system to accept the payments and report for parsing out donations later. 

  • Offer loyalty based charitable giving. If you offer a loyalty program that provides coupons for future purchases or at-the-register rewards, you can convert those rewards to a charitable option. Give customers the option to donate their rewards to an organization rather than receiving their coupon. You can pre-select a range of options for customers to donate to through your pharmacy point-of-sale system. 

Small Business Saturday

Black Friday is dominated by big box stores with huge advertising budgets and room to slash prices. Small Business Saturday is all about the community of independent retailers. A nationwide campaign encourages shoppers to shop local businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year. In 2022, Small Business Saturday falls on November 26th. Make the decision now as to whether you’ll participate and start prepping promotions and communicating with your customers about the event. (There are some resources and info available here.)

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