Technology is cool. The first time that technology really changed the way I do business was the introduction and usage of map quest. I had a small house painting business in college, and actually remember using a Thomas Guide when I was younger to find my way around the city. Portland is a big city, […]
Technology is cool. The first time that technology really changed the way I do business was the introduction and usage of map quest. I had a small house painting business in college, and actually remember using a Thomas Guide when I was younger to find my way around the city. Portland is a big city, and as a kid from the burbs in a pup truck, it was easy to get lost. If I got lost, I had to use a cell phone that cost me $1-$2 bucks a call to ask for directions, hope they answered the phone to give me directions as that was still in the days of land lines where cell phones were not fully adopted yet, and if not leave my cell and pager number so they could get back to me as that was before the days of call waiting standard on phones (yes, I did also rock a pager to help keep cost down, 07734 to all fellow old school pager peps out there). I would say one out five painting bids I had I was late or got lost.
Then came Mapquest. I was able to print out the actual location with a map showing my starting point and destination, get written step by step directions to the place the bid was at, and even an estimated travel time. (This was back in the days before Portland traffic reached L.A. levels, so it was fairly accurate) It changed the way I did business, saved me some money, and solved a main problem.
As the leader in Community Pharmacy Marketing Technology we are looking at rolling out some systems that can help your pharmacy business and marketing the way Mapquest helped my little college painting business.
Here are three things we are playing and experimenting with in house and hope to bring solutions to you as a independent pharmacist in 2017.
Amazon Echo is awesome. We use it house to get some good ambiance music going to stoke our creativity, as well as ask it stupid questions to amuse ourselves. There could be a little more to this technology though, and we are trying to figure out how to do that in house.
One cool feature we are working towards is that some of you sort your drugs by manufacture, some sort by the drug name. This often involves trips back and forth to google to figure out what is connected to what. If you had an app you could ask that did that conversion for you, it will save your techs 1-2 minutes on 5 task through out the day, but it adds up. Also if we can sync it with some of your data, we think it could help remind techs when they need to fill someone coming in for delivery that day, push alerts for any robots and packaging machines you use, and help act as an assistant to the techs. Plus it can play some awesome music.
This technology has also caught Google’s eye, as they are coming out with the item similar to the echo this fall. It has been under production for a while under the code name “chirp”, and will be released as google home. We will be working on integrations with the tool as soon as it is released, and will let you know how it can benefit your pharmacy as soon as we figure it out in house.
Right now 55% of your shoppers are looking for a mobile coupon while in the store. What if there was a way you could get them the coupons for the things you want to sell THAT DAY and tell your clients about upcoming promotions, and health advisories that could help them with medication adherence. That is what Beacons aim to do.
The beacons send push notifications to your phone, and you place them in locations around the pharmacy. They are easy to hide and have a battery life of three years.
You can program them with simple offers, and if a client has an app and location services on there phone, when they get in range they are pinged. This technology has been around since 2014, but few stores have really adopted it yet. That is about to change in a massive way over the next few years, and if you need anymore proof of that I would look at the technology game changer of the summer.
Pokemon Go has shown the acceptance of augmented reality and that consumers are interested in using there phone to interact with the space around them. The rapid adoption of the game shows that the market is ready for push technology. The beacons aren’t smart, they aren’t pulling data off your phone, just pushing it to your phone, so the privacy concerns about big brother in your phone don’t apply here. It is about giving your clients offers that half of them are all ready looking for, and being able to drive sales to the areas you want.
VR/360 VIEW TECHNOLOGY
VR has been around 20 years, but it is finally starting to make some headway into the marketing space. The reason is the introduction of cheap, disposable cardboard VR players. If you haven’t got one of these to check out, and you are interested in where the market is moving, I advise hoping on Amazon and grabbing one today. I got one a few weeks ago, and here is the process of putting it together.
hmmm…. so a piece of cardboard is the newest technology. I think my pops made one of these as a kid in the 50’s with two coke bottles and an egg carton
Awesome, so the instructions are like putting together a piece of IKEA furniture, except with less direction, what could go wrong?
Whoa, actually that was pretty easy and this thing is cool
When I first opened the package I was underwhelmed, then when I was in the process of putting it together I figured there was no way I could get it working and done in one piece, but it was actually really easy! I slid the phone in and some of the apps they have are really cool.
Right now there is nothing that screams marketing for independent pharmacies about the technology, but we are working on that. We are looking at combining 360 view camera technology with a picture of the inside of your store, and adding buttons that the consumers can press that allow them to interact with different elements of the store. This would be something where you have a page on your website that is VR friendly for clients to play around on, or possibly a display in the store while people are waiting for meds to be filled that they could play with a display one you leave, where it goes over the history of your store, and offers discounts and promotions.
As the leader in Community Pharmacy Marketing Technology we are working to apply the newest trends out there to your independent store, and help you become early adopters in the industry, as you might not have the budget of the large chain stores, but you can move faster than they can if you have some people helping you roll this technology before it works through the corporate adoption process.
If you want to check out some other websites that might have good info for your pharmacy check out the link below, we have 20 sites you may not be really familiar with that might have some tools you could use to run your pharmacy better.