On the backdrop of the world’s pandemic, pharmacies remain one of the few businesses that can operate offline. Nothing is surprising as health care products and medicines are one of the most vital products these days. However, despite the importance of these products, people prioritize online shopping rather than leaving their homes.
New purchasing habits do not have much effect on drugstores that have websites for selling medicines online. Nevertheless, those stores that still work only offline face loss of clients and profits. As a result, numerous small drugstores are on the edge of bankruptcy. Having an online store is an airbag that keeps offline businesses afloat, so it’s the right time for going eCommerce.
In this article, I’ll figure out the key things to consider moving a drugstore online.
Above all, online pharmacy licensing provides customers with confidence that business is legal and safe. For instance, the Internet is full of “rogue” online pharmacies, which products can simply kill people. Unscrupulous merchants can sell medication that:
- Contain too much or too little of the active ingredient customers need to treat a disease or condition
- Doesn’t contain the right active ingredients
- Contain wrong or harmful ingredients
- Improperly stored or out-of-date
Moreover, such merchants can sell prescription medicines without requiring a prescription, which may be mortal for customers. Mobecls team advocates ethical and fair eCommerce. In other words, we believe that any online drugstore should operate according to national legislation.
In the USA there are two major verification programs for online pharmacies implemented by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) and LegitScript. However, there are some more verification programs like ACHC, URAC, the Joint Commission, etc. Getting a certification seal for an online pharmacy website brings several benefits to it:
- Marketing Advantages. Google’s policy is very strict when it comes to pharmacy advertising. In short, if an online pharmacy has no certification, Google doesn’t allow it to advertise its products.
- Credibility. Certification shows customers that online pharmacy operates in compliance with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requirements.
Certification standards are quite universal:
- Licensure. A merchant must possess all necessary licenses, registrations, or permits to practice in all required jurisdictions.
- Prescription validity. A pharmacy must dispense or offer to dispense prescription drugs only upon receipt of a valid prescription.
- Legal compliance. A merchant must comply with all provisions of jurisdictional laws, including laws addressing regulatory agency approval of the prescription medication.
- Privacy. All patients’ data must be stored and transmitted according to jurisdictional patient information privacy and security laws.
- Patient service. A website must provide customers with an accurate, readily accessible, and responsive phone number or another contact information allowing patients to contact or consult with a pharmacist.
- Website transparency. Information and offers on a website should not deceive patients as to any material detail regarding the practice, its staff, prescription drugs, or payment transactions.
The EU has introduced a common logo for legally operating online pharmacies/retailers in EU countries as one of the measures to fight against falsified medicines. The logo vouches for the authenticity of the websites and guarantees the safety of the products. In short, this logo links to the website of the national competent authority listing all legally operating online pharmacies/retailers.
An online retailer needs just to register the business with authorities. Then, if the business meets standards and requirements, complete an application form to get the logo.
Online Pharmacy Store Development
Our team has been working with Magento for more than 10 years, so we can say that this eCommerce platform is a powerful solution for medical websites. Here are the best Magento features and customizations for a medical online store:
It’s a must-have feature for any online pharmacy. A customer can easily upload a prescription using a smartphone or directly upload its electronic version during checkout.
This custom feature allows store managers to send notifications to customers that remind them to order medications. For instance, when customers are running out the drugs to continue treatment. It helps to retain customers and makes them more loyal.
People often medicate themself, which often leads to health complications. Online shoppers can order the wrong medicine or dosage for treatment. However, implemented live chat allows users to consult a pharmacist to avoid unnecessary problems both for them and a website owner.
Custom Checkout Fields
Besides standard shipping and personal information fields, it’s possible to implement additional fields like age, gender, purchasing purpose, etc. The idea is to help customers to buy the right medicine. For example, if a customer buys a drug to cure migraines, but it’s not aimed to do it, a specialist can consult a user after seeing the completed form.
Enhanced Search Opportunities
A rich number of filters provide shoppers with excellent user experience, allowing them to search drugs by its composition, brands, dosage, etc. Moreover, the same goes for product management, which makes it much faster and easier.
Magento has a built-in promotions engine that supports numerous discounts and promotions. For example, a store manager can set a Cart Price Rule that automatically displays discounts when a customer meets certain conditions. In short, if a cart price is 50 $, a customer gets a 10% discount.
Besides Cart Price Rules, it’s also possible to set Catalog Price Rules. Unlike cart price rules, they trigger before a customer adds a product to a shopping cart. For example, buy X get Y. Furthermore, site admins can also set up notifications that inform customers about new discounts and offers.
Mobecls team offers an eCommerce Start Pack that includes Industry-Related Design Development; Server, SEO & Marketing Campaigns Configuration; Payment Methods Installation; Custom Features Development, and other services. Contact our experts to get more detailed information.
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About the author:
E-commerce Journalist at Mobecls
2+ years experience
Feel free to ask me anything about this post in the comments below