If you’re looking for ways to future–proof your pharmacy, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article we address the top 4 reasons pharmacy owners are choosing to stay offline and we look at how those reasons could be holding their community pharmacy back.

1. "I don't have time to manage a website or online orders"

A Storbie website takes less time to set up and maintain than you might think, and the "side effect" of online orders are a positive contributor for the health of your pharmacy, but they will take time. The increase for in-store sales will be felt first.

With Storbie, there’s no lengthy consultation to get started on your pharmacy website; just a few quick questions and a range of prescriptions for you to choose from. Your Storbie pharmacy website is ready for the levels of omnichannel experience you are, and is easily upgraded without hassle.

Your website set up is done for you. Storbie will set up the site’s design, graphics and content that reflect your pharmacy’s individual branding. Your online pharmacy will even have its own custom domain name. All you have to do is provide us with some specific details, a few images, and then click a button to activate the site and go live!

Content is easy to edit. A quick review of your website every month or two is all you need and you can easily update text and images yourself. No coding or technical knowledge is required. Need some extra help? Storbie has helpful online articles and our support team is knowledgeable regarding pharmacy requirements, and on hand when you need us.

Managing your products is easier than ever. With the Storbie Pharmacy Supplier Network, all you have to do is connect with suppliers and choose the products that you want to sell online. They’ll then magically appear in your store. And if you have POS integration it’s even easier. Find out more about the Supplier Network for pharmacies here.

Sales take time. If you are wanting an ecommerce solution, there’s no need to worry about making extra time to monitor your website and sale orders. Your online sales will start as a manageable trickle rather than a flood. And you can always choose to showcase your products without enabling ecommerce to begin. Read more about the benefits of a product showcase website here. Additionally, our logistics partners are implementing ecommerce order fulfilment services with Storbie that will drop ship orders directly to your customers.

2. "I already have a pharmacy listing"

Your pharmacy may already have a listing with basic information on a directory website. While that’s a good start, the information available to your customers is likely to be limited (name, contact details and hours only) and will be managed by a third party of which you’ll have very little control over.

By not having your own standalone website, your customers could be provided incorrect information or even be directed to your competitors.

Even if you’re not selling online, your Storbie website is an opportunity to showcase your products and services, which helps your community pharmacy stand out from competitors. Services are especially important to highlight online as a way to combat discounters and further build relationships with the community as an "essential business".

Having your own website also increases your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) allowing you to be found more easily by consumers. Strong SEO is important for your community pharmacy to be visible online, pushing your website to the top of online searches.

3. "I've had a website before, and it didn't work"

Times have changed, and technology is constantly evolving. Customers don’t shop like they used to , and websites need to be mobile friendly, load quickly, and offer a range of options for them. For business owners, they need to provide statistics, marketing, and flexibility. Storbie can help with all of this.

Storbie websites use responsive design so that your website looks great on any device, whether that’s desktop, tablet, laptop or mobile. You can read more about our features here.

Google analytics integration gives you access to see when and how many people are visiting your website, what they’re looking at, and how long they’re staying.

And Storbie works closely with key industry figures to constantly find new ways to improve the online experience for community pharmacists. We are committed to helping community pharmacies succeed.

4. "My customers don't use the internet"

A website is now part of a prescription for community pharmacies. Did you know that 88% of Australians and 89% of New Zealanders are active internet users?

More than 250,000 Storbie users are over the age of 55, with almost 95,000 of those aged 65+ and acccording to the 2013 Census, 24% of New Zealanders identify as having a disability. In Australia there are 4.3 million people estimated to have a disability. Having an accessible website to allow customers to search for products online, order and pick up in store, or order to have delivered to their home is incredibly advantageous. Read more about accessibility here.

Statistics from Google show an 18% search growth for pharmacies in New Zealand in the first quarter of 2018 compared to the previous year. Australia Post are predicting that 1 in 10 items will be bought online by 2020.

And according to Statistics NZ, spending at domestic online stores has been growing at a faster rate than spending at overseas sites. Consumers are actively looking to shop online from local businesses, including pharmacies.

Start on the pathway to digital enablement

As mentioned above, Storbie has different levels to bring you onto the online ladder.

Improve business efficiency by providing customers with information about your products and services with a ready–built product showcase website that’s ecommerce ready when you are.

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