Niche services are becoming increasingly popular with independent pharmacies and are an excellent way to stand out from the competition of large chain stores in your city. What exactly is a niche service? Niche services are hyper-specific services that focus on the needs of a single group. Examples of niches for independent pharmacies include things like compounding, diabetes management, and fertility services. These customized services allow you to move from simply filling prescriptions toward the goal of being a health care resource for your patients. Deciding on the best program to implement in your pharmacy will depend on several factors.
These are the first things you should consider when choosing your pharmacy’s first niche program:
Demographics of Your Customers
Much like everything you do in your pharmacy, when deciding on a niche service, focus first on your customers. Who are they? What do they want? What do they need? What do they value the most? After you understand who your new program will be serving, you can begin to narrow down the best options to launch. For example, if your audience is mainly Baby Boomers, specialized services you may want to consider include:
- medication therapy management
- diabetes card
- blood pressure monitoring
- cancer awareness education
These services specifically target Baby Boomers and their needs and wants. Define your customers by reviewing any data you have available in your store. Take an interest in watching the people who come into your store. Even interview your best customers. Ask them the questions you need answers to.
Conditions of Surrounding Industry
Consider what other businesses and industries are near or around your pharmacy. If your store is located close to an airport or major cruise ship port, you may want to consider implementing an immunization program geared toward international travelers. Most travelers forget to update vaccines when planning a trip.
If your pharmacy is located near a local hospital, consider offering Bedside Delivery to discharged patients. Offer to bring new mother her medication so she doesn’t don’t have to stop on the way home with the new baby or provide delivery for an elderly patient who doesn’t drive and would find it challenging to get to the pharmacy. Bedside Delivery is both customer-centric and very convenient for many types of people.
Current Nationwide Trends
Health and wellness are very important to a variety of demographics, especially those groups that have a higher risk of obesity and/or diabetes. Healthy nutrition is one of the fastest growing healthcare niches. Most nutritional supplements are sold over the counter and are not covered by insurance which means that educating customers about these products could be profitable for you. Additionally, when sudden disease outbreaksbecome worldwide news, establishing yourself as the local source for a vaccine or a type of medication could be extremely profitable. Pay attention to what is in the news and you’ll have a good idea of what your customers are looking to find at your pharmacy.
Understanding the unique audiences of your pharmacy will allow you to identify new services, compelling products, and you will stand out from your competition. Serving a niche market will be extremely profitable for your pharmacy, as long as you chose your targeted group carefully. No one knows your local community better than you, so use these tips to narrow down and decide what programs will be the best for your business.
To learn more tips to help your pharmacy grow, download our free eBook “3 Innovative Ways to Compete in the Pharmacy Market.”