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Clarkston’s Sean Burke Shares Retail Industry Expertise Regarding Drug Store Challenges in 2022

Clarkston Consulting’s Sean Burke, Associate Partner at Clarkston Consulting and a Retail Industry Lead, was recently featured in the Drug Store News for his retail industry expertise, particularly speaking to the challenges facing retail pharmacy. To combat increased competition from e-commerce players and fulfill the need to drive store visits, Burke suggests that drug stores need to identify ways to establish customer trust and loyalty as well as enhance overall convenience and personalization. Read the excerpt below or the full article here.

March 9, 2022 | Durham, NC

Industry Experts Offer Big Ideas

“Loyalty and reward programs are a great avenue for this,” Burke said, noting that drug store retailers can go beyond the “spend more, get more” approach.

“To further encourage a healthy lifestyle, drug stores could award points or rewards for consumers achieving certain fitness milestones, like hitting a step goal or sleeping a set number of hours,” Burke said. “These same programs also offer more than simple coupons or discounts but find ways to provide unique experiences, products and services that make sense based on the brand characteristics and mission.”

Making prescription pickup more convenient has also become important, as options, such as buy online/pick up in store, curbside pickup and same-day delivery, have grown in popularity, he said.

“With more and more people working from home, brick-and-mortar drug stores will face a real challenge if they can’t compete in the digital landscape and put their product in the consumer’s hands faster,” Burke said.

Read the Full DSG Article Here

While drug stores have long offered drive-thru lanes, they need to make in-store pickup even more convenient with amenities such as pickup lockers or kiosks. In addition, offering designated curbside pickup locations outside the stores can allow multiple people to check in at a given time.

Burke suggested retailers should also look at investing in a partnership with a delivery service to support same-day delivery as CVS has done with Shipt.

Focusing on the personalized customer experiences that pharmacists provide represents another big idea for drug stores, he said. When patients come in to pick up their medication or receive a vaccine, the pharmacist might be the only direct contact the customer has.

“While there is an increased interest in online pharmacy and mail-order companies, many consumers still value and demand personalized attention when it comes to their health,” he said. “If drug stores market themselves as consumer-centric and emphasize the role that a pharmacist plays in the customer experience, they are establishing a sense of trust and loyalty amongst their consumers — a true competitive advantage.”

Read the Full DSG Article Here