Are you changing?


Photo (CC) of Nana-b-agyel, on Flickr

My mother recently moved to an assisted living center. For me, this has meant changes in my help. On the one hand, I am more active in obtaining his medications.

Recently, I commented that I suspected that his pharmacy would not be active in the near future. She asked why I say that since she finds them very useful.

Why did I say what I did?

My first, and perhaps the only reason, was a scan of the the age of their clients. I live in the second largest city in the state, a city renowned for its recruitment of young workers. However, I do not see these young people in the store, no matter what time I am there. I suspect that their average customer is 60 and over. In itself, this market is fine, but I suspect that they do not attract new customers this age group, but continue to serve essentially their existing clientele.

So, how can I make these additional assumptions about customer growth?

First of all, we are creatures of habit. If we have a pharmacy that we have been using for years, we probably will not change as we get older. We are really becoming more rigid in our own way.

And why do not the youngest use pharmacy? They do not use technology – no SMS, no drive-up, no payment by phone, no application, etc. This is where the competition is.

Also the store is small it therefore offers the items you expect from a pharmacy, but do not use milk, cereals, food, toothpaste, jewelry, perfume, etc. And this short list does not even begin to account for the larger multi-faceted stores.

Another reason is that their hours do not start to compete. No late night and nothing on Sunday.

All the things I mentioned require money and more staff. Yet, survival means change. In the retail sector, this was again highlighted last Monday when Sears declared bankruptcy. The market is demanding and currently requires something different.

So, after saying that, my mother asked about rural pharmacy. Is it the same for them? Yes and no is the best answer I can give. Their customers see what other stores are getting from department stores, but these stores have the advantage of their local connections. And they are often seen as doing what is necessary to help a client. Maybe their prices are not as good, but the price is only part of the reason we shop where we do it. We love to know who we are dealing with and know that someone is watching over us.

At the end of the day – stay abreast of what's going on in every facet of the business and change to meet demand. That's what customers want. And that's what you need to do to stay in business.