January 9, 2021

News, products, marketing and merchandising tips for the
front end of community pharmacies

* Gabe's Tips: *

While you wait

You are probably getting ready to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. Safely take advantage of having folks "captive" for some time before and after their appointments. Think about where they will be waiting and what they will see in that area. Signs about your services, reminders to fill all their prescriptions with you, a message to people that may be in your pharmacy for the first time. Some pharmacy owners are going to have a QR code that when scanned takes people to an online survey they have created to gather data, information, and input from their customers. Just don't waste the opportunity!

Look at yourself online

Free Marketing at its best! Today, go to www.google.com/business/ sign-in or sign up by clicking "Manage Now". Update your profile to include whether you are offering curbside delivery, in-store shopping, delivery, and or a COVID-19 Testing center. Some of these things show up on Google Maps now. Double-check to see if your store hours and contact information is correct. Also, know that you can now post-holiday hours. It is important to add your website! When time allows, go back, and enter testimonials and photos.

Got Stamps?

Here is a savvy tip from Michael Bologh, owner of Jerry's Drug & Surgical. At Michael's store, they are selling stamps (not giving them away) and is making lots of his customers happy! It seems no one is in a hurry to stand in line at the post office to buy stamps. His card sales are up, and it is one more reason that people love his store. He markets selling stamps by using a sidewalk sign, Facebook, and community Facebook forums.

Sliding into more room

Here is a tip for finding room for additional room. Save space by simply choosing the right door. A pocket door or a sliding barn style door will take the least amount of room. The other plus to these types of doors is that they do not require a threshold. People using a rollator, or a wheelchair will appreciate the ease in entering your room. One slight disadvantage of the two styles mentioned is you will have a bit of a challenge to install a coat hook onto the back of the door.

Meet me in the middle

Did you know that most customers, when looking for an item, start their search by walking to the center of the category, no matter what the size or type of category? Once at the center, they will continue by looking at the shelf that is at eye level and very much like crossing a road, they will look left and right. For example, if you have a 12ft cough & cold category, shoppers will walk 6ft down from the start of the section and look up at a shelf somewhere around five feet from the floor. Knowing this you now know where to best merchandise the largest box of Valentine chocolates.

Two more bits

Pretty soon, some of you are going to look for ways to get rid of the pesky Christmas candy that has yet to sell. Before you go to 75% off, try buy one and get two free. Example: Three $1.00 each candy sold at 75% off is a total sale of 75¢. Sell one at a dollar and get two free is a $1.00 sale. If you are already cleared out this season, make a note for after Valentine's Day, Easter, Mother's Day…

Navigate to inspiration

Here is how you can find photos that will inspire you and one-page tips to broaden your merchandising expertise. In your browser, go to NCPA.org, locate the top ribbon and hover over the word Resources, slide your courser down and click on Front-End Overhaul. Enjoy!

Front End Resources for NCPA Members

Being a member of NCPA means you have access to a treasure trove of helpful hints, tips, and resources to make your front end more profitable! Download One-Pager Tips on a variety of topics. Gabe typically posts a tip once or twice a day on his Twitter account — if you're on Twitter, give him a follow at @NCPAGabe. You can also find tips in Gabe's monthly column in America's Pharmacist. The Overhaul of Fame galleries contain hundreds of photos to inspire you, from effective signs to successful end-caps and everything in between. Finally, you and your staff can access several staff training videos that will help you take an objective view of your store, both inside and out!

This wealth of knowledge is due to the fantastic photos, ideas, and suggestions we receive every day from NCPA members like you. Drop him a line at gabe.trahan@ncpa.org with your questions, photos, best advice, and recommendations. What's selling well in your store? Let us know.

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