Managing a pharmacy website is easier (and more fun) than you think
A website for your pharmacy is a business asset. And, like all assets, it needs maintenance to stop it from falling into disrepair. Here's what to expect.
A website for your pharmacy is an asset to your business. And, like all assets, it needs maintenance to stop it from falling into disrepair. We talk to many pharmacy owners who put the brakes on getting started online because they are worried they won’t be able to keep up with it.
If this is you, don't panic – unlike other website systems, your online presence with Storbie doesn’t need as much maintenance. Storbie has automated many of the things that typically take a lot of time to manage – like keeping product images, descriptions and pricing up to date. This means the time you do spend on your website is time that you can focus on promoting your site – the things that add value to your business.
So what does that look like? Well the minimum amount of effort you can probably get away with, for relatively maximum impact, is just an hour per week. Here’s how you could expect to get the most out of that hour.
The regular check up
First things first: your regular checkup. This is just to make sure the details are up–to–date. Keep an eye on things like:
- The opening hours
- Your phone/fax numbers
- Your email address
- Team members (have people moved on?)
- Services you offer
And so on. This doesn’t take long, but it’s a really valuable exercise – and all completely doable yourself in the edit mode of your Storbie website. You’d be surprised at how often little details can change, and by keeping these details up to date, you ensure that you’re putting your best foot forward.
As part of the checkup, you’ll want to review how your website has performed that last couple of weeks too. What are the most viewed products? The most viewed pages? Are certain health topics trending? This will only take a few minutes to look at, and can give you inspiration for how you might spend the rest of your power–hour.
This checkup is definitely not going to take an hour. So now you have some time to spare. A great way to use this time is by creating a short promotional page or writing an article then sharing it on Facebook and emailing your customers about it. Here’s what that might look like.
A great way to use a small amount of time dedicated to getting your website working harder for your business, is by putting together a short promotional page.
You probably have products you’re trying to move or that you’ve been given supplier incentives to sell. You may have a service that you know is particularly popular at this time of year that you could pair with some health tips. You might have things in all of these categories. Either way, a promotional page is a great way to highlight any deals you have on at the moment.
You can put this together pretty easily yourself on Storbie – draft up a sentence or two about the promotion, ask your suppliers for a promotional image similar to what they provide for printed brochures, and add the products to the promo page. Storbie already has the key information, such as the brand, variety and price of the product so this part is simple. And if there’s a sale on, where it applies, you can display the deal details.
Then you can link to this page from your website’s home page, so new visitors immediately see the great deal you have at the moment.
One point of caution: make sure you fold this page into your next weekly maintenance checkup. Check on this page, and any other promotional pages, and change or remove them if they’re no longer relevant.
Write some content
If you don’t have any deals to promote, you can still use the time really well by writing some content for your website. Remember, the main value you offer your customers is expert advice about medication and health in general. So a great way to promote yourself is to capture some of that advice as pages on your website and you can use the more than 80 Health Articles already loaded on your new Storbie website to reference.
Answer some frequently asked questions, or talk about why you always recommend one medication over the other, or just write some general thoughts on the pharmacy world. You’re the expert, so your words carry a lot of weight!
If you can manage a few solid paragraphs, about as many words as the first two sections of this article, this becomes a great thing to promote on social media or in email further down the track. What’s more, it makes it easier for people to find your pharmacy in Google searches. Win–win!
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Remember, your online presence is bigger than a website. You also want to promote your business on social media. This gets your website one of the main things it needs: traffic! The more people you have visiting your website, the more valuable it is to your business.
So make sure you post on social media, like Facebook, on a semi–regular basis. Start with once a week, then ramp up as you become more confident.
A great place to start is with the promotional page you put together in step 2. Just link to that page, with a nice picture of something related – such as one of the products on sale. Make sure you write the details of the deal in the post, so people don’t have to work hard to find out what you’re trying to tell them. Then just post! Easy as that.
Over time, you can start to post other content as well – such as seasonal notices, or just fun pictures from a day at work. But when you’re just getting started, stick with your promotions and useful health articles from your website, because that content is immediately available, and you don’t have to think too hard about what to say.
If you’re already using a service to keep your pharmacy Facebook page up–to–date for you, be sure to loop them in in on the fact that you have a website loaded with products, services and health information that they can link to on Facebook, to drive traffic back to your website.
There’s an old adage around selling: it’s ten times easier to sell to an existing customer than to get a new customer. That’s where email comes in. Even though it’s one of the older online tools, it’s also one of the most effective when it comes to marketing to people you already have a relationship with. If you’re an independently owned pharmacy that is part of a banner group, your group may provide you with email marketing tools to email customers in your local area, or if you’re not, you can do this for free with software like Mailchimp.
If you still have some time after putting together your social media post, write a quick email to your customers, telling them about the promotion you created. This lets you get your deal in front of people who already know who you are and what you’re about. You don’t have to worry about whether they know where you are, or what you sell, or anything like that. Existing customers already have all of this information, so it’s a lot easier to sell to them.
Just don’t overdo it. Once someone unsubscribes from your list, that’s essentially the end of your email relationship with them. So, if you email too much, you’ll get too many people unsubscribing, and you’ll burn too many bridges.
But once a fortnight is fine – especially if you’re promoting some really good, relevant deals and useful health information.
That’s it! Just an hour or so a week at a minimum, and not only do you get an up–to–date website, you also get to put your deals and content in front of people using other channels. We think that’s a pretty good return on your time investment!
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