The year 2020 will be remembered as a year where people, markets, and businesses around the globe were severely affected by an infection. As a result, everyone and everything was forced to adapt to the current situation.
The pharmaceutical sector is the saviour at the moment. With everyone following the social distancing and home restriction norms, the use of online medical stores has surged steeply.
A survey showed that around 61% of people in India prefer to shop online for medicines. This figure has increased even more with the need to go under lockdown.
Even they are having a tough time coping up with the situation. With a shortage of supplies and hands, fulfilling orders within the limited time is getting difficult. If you are an e-pharma marketer, here is an exhaustive list of strategies that can help you during these challenging times.
- Educate your customers
As the world is under the coronavirus threat, rumours are flying everywhere. As a responsible leader in the health sector, this is the time when you can establish your authority by providing reliable information to your customers.
Something as plain as ‘can cash put in danger of acquiring the virus?’ may prove to be priceless information. Don’t fear in laying out simple information. It is often the most basic information which is neglected.
- Comfort your customers
When the nation is already distressed, the situation can become worse if people turn to panic buying. You must make use of every possible way to assure your customers of the availability of stocks.
Ensure them that you are capable of delivering their necessary medicines although the delivery might take a while due to the COVID-19 situation. Let your customers know if your online pharmacy supplies additional value items such as lab test kits or if you provide free online consultations.
- Introduce self-assessment tools
With the outbreak of the pandemic, there is a lot of confusion among people regarding the symptoms and possibilities of coronavirus infection. In such a case, you must take the initiative to relieve people of this unnecessary alarm.
For instance, PharmEasy’s self-assessment tool has proved to be very handy. It asks a few simple questions such as ‘are you facing any breathing difficulties’ and calculates the chances of you being infected.
This simple step has also helped in reducing unnecessary crowds in hospitals. People who are panicked and have a doubt that they are infected can certainly determine their condition and take the necessary steps accordingly.
- Don’t complicate things
Online purchase of medications has emerged as the need of the hour. You must keep in mind that this is a delicate time for all. You must not make things worse with a complicated message on your websites.
Focus on providing your customers with a smooth experience. Clear instructions on how to upload the prescription and how to place an order might prove of help.
- Talk about safe deliveries
People all over the world are concerned about the risk of acquiring coronavirus infection through contact. You must reassure your customers and let them know about the steps you have taken to prevent the spread of infection.
For instance, PharmEasy has introduced a zero-contact delivery service. When you place your order, you will receive a call asking whether you wish to opt for zero-contact delivery.
The delivery person will leave your order package at a clean place outside your house. He will also send you a picture of your package at your doorstep and you can pick up your parcel from your doorstep whenever you wish to.
- Keep your shipping policies transparent
Sure, you have a shortage of workforce and with the hike in orders you must be facing difficulties in carrying out timely deliveries, but your customer doesn’t know about them. You must let them know about the extra efforts you are putting in fulfilling their orders on time.
It is better if you clearly mention the expected delays in order shipments. These are unrealistic times and the last thing a person need is an unnecessary tension and false hopes.
Also, if you are not carrying out deliveries at certain locations, mention them on your website.
- Promote responsible buying
As the nation has gone under lockdown, people have resorted to overstocking their supplies. This has created a scarcity of essential items such as hand sanitizers, soaps, hand wash, masks, and tissue papers.
Via your website, you must make people understand the need to buy things responsibly. For instance, both PharmEasy and Netmeds have put caps on the quantities of specific products. A person can’t purchase more than 2 bottles of hand sanitizers in one order. This restriction will help everyone get access to these essentials.
Today, online pharmacies are in a unique position. You have the opportunity of building long-lasting relationships that will outlive the pandemic. All you need to keep in mind is that your approach must be practical and realistic.