Technology November 30, 2015 Last updated September 18th, 2018 538 Reads share

How Mobile Applications Can Enable the Growth of the Pharmacy Sector

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Mobile application development has been a great lever of growth for so many different verticals. The biggest contribution of mobile apps has been to create an interface between business enterprises and customers. In fact it makes enormous good sense to suggest that customers are now able to get in touch with their favorite brands in no time on their smart phones and make purchases with ease.

The scope of mobile apps to generate value for business stems from the capability of smart phones and the apps embedded in them to conquer distance and time with supreme ease. This refers to the fact that in verticals where customers are dealing with services that are subscription based, both sides of a transaction can be completed using a smart phone – placing an order and delivering the service to the customer.

With regard to the companies that sell tangible products, the second part of the transaction that is delivery of products continues to be a challenge. Despite this obvious shortcoming that mobile apps are handicapped by it makes great sense to suggest that half the battle won can still be an extremely good business case in favor of improvement of efficiency, return on investment and reduction of wastage of resource engagement.

Of the many industry verticals that are yet to make use of mobile application development services in a significant way, the pharmaceutical is one. The vertical of pharmaceuticals caters to those product groups that are classified as necessary goods and thus streamlining the process of finding a pharmaceutical store, checking for the availability of medicines and over the counter (OTC) drugs can enable pharmacy companies to create customer recognition and thus create value for themselves and customers.

It is worthwhile to remember that the pharmacy sector consists of an organized retail segment that is dominated by established retailers of drugs and medicines on one hand and an unorganized retail sector that consist of local stand alone retail stores. The usage of mobile applications development can be of benefit in both segments and create value for the customer.

Store Locators for Better Identification of Pharmacy Stores

Given the fact that medicines and drugs are necessary products that have an inelastic demand, price points are not very good traffic building measures. It has been observed that in verticals and industries that deal with necessary goods, consumers are insensitive to price changes and do not respond any better to low pricing point based strategies to build traffic and increase sales.

The nature of the industry is such that depending upon the business regulatory framework of the local economy, there are always going to be extensive lists of medicines that cannot be sold without a prescription from an authorized medical practitioner. Yet it must be commented that over the counter drugs form a significant portion of sales for pharmacy companies. It makes good sense for pharmacy stores to make use of mobile applications like Android apps and Windows applications for the purpose of reaching out o customers.

The development of mobile applications for the pharmacy sector can pave the way for significant improvements in business processes. For one it can enable customers to make use of built in store locators to search for the nearest medicine stores in the vicinity of their current location.

They can also further check for the operating status of the store whether it is open or closed at that point of time. This can go a long way in saving precious time that is lost in scouting for medicine stores in times of medical emergencies when life saving drugs have to be administered to the patient in a constrained “golden time” frame. The golden time in the parlance of medical science refers to the margin of time that a patient may have at hand during the time of an emergency and hence the administration of a drug within the golden time can save all those lives that are lost in just meaninglessly roaming from one store to another!

Demand Driven Model of Sales with Replenishment of Inventories Through Mobile App Analytics

Yet again, to go a step further, medicine manufacturers, distributors, retailers and customers can be interwoven on a communication platform to institutionalize a demand driven model of distribution and sales. This shall work backwards by enabling customers to check the availability of medicines in stores that are located in their neighborhood.

A simple search function for surfing through the brands of medicines that are available or a search engine that identifies the chemical composition of medicines as keywords can enable customers to access medicines in a much easier and less time consuming way.

Moreover the mobile app can also for retailers to relay these search results to distributors and back to the manufacturers of medicines to improve the inventory model with replenishment of stocks in suitable lead times. This can go along way in putting in place a demand driven model of sales and distribution for different product categories.

The use of mobile app analytics in combination with big data can pave the way for a very scientific model of production, distribution and sales. It will result in reduction of working capital blockage for manufacturing companies, distributors and retailers.

The ensuing insights of mobile app data can ensure better visual merchandising of medicines and better utilization of shop floor space for storing inventories of different SKUs. More over it shall reduce redundancies of costs and time by streamlining the materials requirement planning for pharmacy companies.

At the end of the value chain, it shall benefit the customer by enabling him to check for the availability of medicines not only in times of emergencies but also in times of rush hours of daily life.

Concluding Comments on Mobile App Development Services for Pharmacy Vertical

The concept of mobile app development services for the pharmacy vertical is still very much an merging story and is yet to capture the imagination of application development service vendors and also the pharmaceuticals manufacturing companies. Pilot projects may be initiated at the front end of the value chain so that immediate surge in demand for such futuristic apps at the end of customers can happen instantly.

Once this happens, the backward flow across participants in the value chain will occur as and when they realize the business case and the merits of investing in technology. Sales numbers can offer good insights on the feasibility of such innovative apps development service projects so that the process may be scaled up across the value chain as and when demand for medicines and apps picks up.

Images “Pharmacy sign on the street /  Shutterstock.com

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Zeba M. Alam

Zeba M. Alam

Zeba Warsi is a Digital Marketing Consultant in Misha Infotech. She is GAP Certified and has a background in Market Research, Brand Promotion, and Content writing & Marketing. She has been actively involved in Internet Marketing since 2009 and delivered Digital and content marketing strategies for multiples of online-only businesses, helps the clients to use the internet to market their businesses online.

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