Shopping online has never been more popular – this is not only proven by global platforms like Amazon, Ebay or Alibaba, but increasingly also happens in the healthcare sector. That is why more and more McKesson Europe retail subsidiaries are upgrading their Commerce stores with “Click and Collect” functionalities. “In order to fulfil our customers’ requirements, we have to integrate modern e-commerce services into the online and mobile solutions for our pharmacies,” explains Sascha Zoontjens, responsible for Digital, eCommerce and Loyalty at Group Sales & Marketing.
As the rules for pharmaceutical retail and the technical background are different in each country, McKesson Europe cannot offer a group-wide solution of this service. “Click and Collect needs direct access to the local stock management. This is necessary to guarantee product availability in the pharmacy,” explains Sascha Zoontjens. McKesson Europe’s e-commerce platforms therefore mainly focus on fast-moving items to be offered as “Click and Collect” products to the consumers.
The UK was the first country to offer Click and Collect. The service launched in August 2014 with a pilot phase at LloydsPharmacy outlets in the South-East of England. In the meantime, it is available in the entire LloydsPharmacy estate across the UK. The service allows consumers to purchase P-med, GSL and over-the-counter (OTC) products online before collecting from their preferred LloydsPharmacy free of charge. Orders made before 2 p.m. are available for collection by the following morning.
Grant Abrahams, Head of eCommerce & Betterlife at Celesio UK, says: “No two shoppers are the same and whether it’s in-pharmacy or online, people expect and appreciate choice and flexibility to customise their entire purchasing journey. Our focus is on ensuring that this is as easy and enjoyable for our consumers as possible whilst also enhancing our online retailing capability.”
He adds: “The addition of Click and Collect gives shoppers the ability to choose a service to suit their needs, alongside our traditional home delivery option and LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor service, which are already proving extremely valuable for our consumers.”
Aside from enjoying the benefits of free collection, consumers using the Click and Collect service are able to access free and impartial face-to-face expert advice about products and conditions such as skin care and pain management from the dedicated consultants in each of LloydsPharmacy’s 1,800 local community pharmacies.
Vitusapotek is a “first mover” among pharmacy chains in Norway when it comes to “Click and Collect”. After a successful pilot in January all 230 Vitusapotek pharmacies could offer the new service “Klikk & Hent” to their consumers in the beginning of April.
“The experiences so far have been great. In May we have started to communicate the new service in the market and so far the share of online customers choosing Click and Collect has been nearly 60 per cent,” says Oscar Olsen, Head of Strategy and Project Management at Vitusapotek.
GEHE is an excellent example of a wholesaler offering innovative services for pharmacies. Starting at the end of 2015, Click and Collect is marketed as an optional offer to all gesund leben cooperation pharmacies in Germany. The service encompasses the monthly sales promotions including the correct article prices for more than 2,000 pharmacies.
“We are offering this service in addition to all of our three web site packages – Basic, Plus and Premium. And the feedback from our customers is great,” explains Sarah Wüst, Project Manager eBusiness at GEHE.
For her, Click and Collect is the perfect fit when it comes to combining the two seemingly opposing worlds of brick-and-mortar and online. “Click and Collect supports the local pharmacies by bringing consumers from the web to their store,” she says.
In Sweden, LloydsApotek offers prescribed medicines for home delivery or by Click and Collect (C&C). The latter can either be via a preferred pick-up place or for specific cold chain products at the local pharmacy. Swedish legislation allows the retailer to deliver products directly to the customer’s postal box, and this is therefore the most common delivery option. Products can be delivered within two hours for a smaller fee or overnight to the postal box for free.
Besides Click and Collect, LloydsApotek in cooperation with KRY.se also offers an online doctor solution where customers can meet a doctor within 15 minutes. This works just like any normal appointment with a doctor, apart from one small detail – the diagnosis and advice are given via a video link. Together with the fast delivery this means that the customer can both meet his doctor and get his medicines within 2-3 hours.