A shift in consumer behavior reveals that patients are incorporating smartphones into the decision making process of an increasing number of everyday purchases. This means that those chains that choose not to invest in mobile technology will continue to lose more customers more frequently as time goes on. Consider that in 2016, 96% of all cellular phones sold in the United States were smartphones and that 90% of smartphone owners kept their units with them all the time. Additionally, a whopping 98% of all messages received on a smartphone are read, compared to a dismal 12.5% of e-mail communications.
The effect of these trends on the retail pharmacy industry have become more apparent and as a result, investments in mobile technology have picked up a tremendous amount, especially with pharmacy giants such as Walgreens and CVS. In a recent study of mHealth (mobile health) initiatives in pharmacy, Walgreens reported that mobile app usage increased by over 500% in 2011 and that smartphones account for 40% of all online refill requests. Moreover, over 3 million Walgreens customers now receive Rx notifications directly on their smartphones.
The problem that most pharmacy chains face is that they do not possess the resources or the experience to develop solutions in-house. When looking externally, they are inundated with a wide range of options and find it difficult to differentiate among the various providers. MarkeTouch Media, a leading provider of pharmacy communications, has created a mobile platform that complements their RxTouch service line to keep the developmental process simple, turnkey, and affordable. They understand the various nuances of the industry and customize affordable solutions.
MarkeTouch offers a complete mobile solution for your customers, whether they download native apps on Apple iOS and Google Android devices, or browse mobile optimized websites. Patients can refill and manage their prescriptions in real-time, receive notifications (mobile push, voice, sms or e-mail) about their medication and pharmacy offers, find store information/locations and access drug and health related information.
Pharmacy chains have the ability to make real-time updates to content without the need for technical expertise by using MarkeTouch’s proprietary content management system. Multiple registration and security options are available to fit specific business rules, and for those pharmacies that are part of a larger organization (e.g. grocery), front-end app integration makes incorporating pharmacy features seamless for your customers. Location based customer surveys, health and wellness scheduler shopping lists, daily pill reminders, photo printing services and social media integration are all features of RxTouch mobile applications.
Smartphone utilization will continue to increase and chains serious about their future growth can no longer afford to ignore the trends. Retail pharmacies that provide patients with timely communications and offer convenient ways to interact with their stores will gain ground over competitors.