2020 has been an interesting year, to say the least. Because of COVID-19, our world has been turned upside down. One of the many effects of COVID-19 can be seen with the exponential rise in eCommerce transactions. With so many brick and mortar stores shut down, shopping online has become even more popular (and basically essential), especially in the pharmaceutical world. As a pharma retailer, it’s important to stay up to date on this ever-evolving world. Keep reading to learn about the latest pharma eCommerce trends of 2020.

1. Fulfill orders inexpensively and quickly.

A growing number of people are abandoning their cart as they shop online. Two of the main reasons for this are high shipping costs and long shipping times. People don’t want to spend much on shipping — and they want their orders yesterday (thanks Amazon for both of these). If they have their cart full but then the shipping charge comes up as way more than they were anticipating and/or they won’t receive their order for a while, they abandon their cart and move on to the next site that promises products in a quicker, cheaper way.

To combat this problem, make sure, if you can, that your pharma/supplement company’s shipping costs are low (or free after a certain amount) and that your shipping times are short. It’s usually worth it to make your products a little bit more expensive, by building in some of your shipping costs, if it means keeping the customer’s shipping costs low. In the long run, it’s also usually worth it for your company to take a bit of a hit if it means getting your customers their products more quickly.

If you have a physical building and an eCommerce website, it may be worth it to tap into the new trend of BOPS. This stands for “buy online, pick up in store.” Customers like this option too because even though they still need to get in their car and go to a brick and mortar store, they don’t need to spend time shopping around, as their order is exactly what they ordered and it’s already waiting for them when they arrive. If your company does not have a physical location, consider partnering with companies that do have one and also cater to BOPS customers, such as Kohls.

2. Try a pop-up shop.

With eCommerce on the rise and in-store sales on the decline, in-person pop-up shops may not sound like a great idea. However, over the past few years, eCommerce retailers have learned that pop-up shops do very well. Their unique physical presence helps spread awareness of your company to a new audience.

When picking a spot for your pharma pop-up shop, choose wisely. Where does your target audience hang out? Where does your brand fit in? Think about cities, towns and then physical locations. The most common places for pop-up shops are vacant storefronts and kiosks in shopping malls. Setting up shop at a farmers market is also a good idea for a pharmaceutical audience. When you catch your customers in the right place, you’ll get their attention and their business.

3. Make your Instagram shoppable.

One new perk of Instagram for eCommerce retailers is that this platform can now be used to sell products directly. The key here is to have an active Instagram page and then to tag any products you feature. If a post resonates with your customers, they can simply click the photo to see more information and then buy your products in just a few clicks, right from the Instagram app.

Another good, relevant idea is to partner with influencers who share your company’s vision and can create and share shoppable content for your pharma brand. At InteractOne, we know the value of a great influencer. To read some of our recent blog posts about the power of influencers, click here and here.

4. Offer a subscription / automatic fulfillment service.

Year after year, the demand for subscription services only increases — and these services are a win-win for both customers and merchants.

For customers, they know exactly what they’re getting and when they’re getting it. Their beloved products are delivered regularly as scheduled and always just as expected. It doesn’t get much more convenient than that!

For merchants, having customers in a subscription service allows the companies to better forecast what’s needed and thus have better management of their inventory. Plus, it’s much better for a company to have a lot of dedicated customers that are loyal to the company week after week, month after month than to have a handful of one-off customers who order once and then forget to return.

5. Get ready for drone delivery.

Yes, drone delivery is here — and here to stay. In 2020, drone delivery has become a mainstream reality. This year, it’s estimated that three million operational drones will be in the air.

The benefit of drone delivery for eCommerce retailers is that most packages can be delivered this way within 30 minutes. That makes for a lot of happy customers. Plus, drone delivery can save companies millions of dollars in shipping costs.

The drone industry really took off in 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) streamlined the registration process for companies. However, there still hasn’t been a pharmaceutical company that has fully integrated drones into their operations. With the need to protect patient safety being so important, most pharma companies are hesitant to take the leap just yet. However, as drone delivery companies continue to learn and grow, it’s just a matter of time before pharma companies jump on the drone bandwagon.

Conclusion

With eCommerce sales continually increasing, it’s important that companies stay up to date on the latest trends.

To learn more about how InteractOne can help your pharma or supplement business stay ahead of the curve in eCommerce trends, contact us today.

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