My Dear Ghanaian Pharmacies, are you aware that you’re leaving a ton of money on the table just because you have refused to look at your data and try to make sense out of it?
Pharmacies may have good streams of cash flowing in but offering sort after services will also generate more cash and solve problems of a group of people; the nursing mother in particular.
We at AFROSAGES are willing to share with you insights from the viewpoint of a nursing mother. She narrates how if she was the head of your business would take advantage of the cash cow. Below is how she intends to run your pharmacy.
My Trips to the Pharmacies
My name is Naana and I had my first child 3 years ago. And just like any new parent, I started this long running relationship with pharmacies. About a week after Baby Desmond’s birth, I bought a set of diapers for age 0-3 months. The Pharmacy where I frequently visited took my phone number and signed me up for a loyalty programme being run.
I thought to myself, “If I ran that pharmacy, I would have gone the extra mile and collected the parents’ email”.
Mind you, this was my first child and I was as blank as a canvas. So any and every help was welcomed for which I would have asked a few more questions that would make life easier for me.
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Let me indulge your calculative mind a bit.
A box of diapers contains about 180 units. Assuming the baby uses 4 pieces per day, this will come down to 45 days. That means, for every 40 days, the new parent will get an SMS/Email reminder urging them to restock. Trust me, this would have being super helpful for me and I know a mother reading this would agree with me. So would a father paying half or all of the bills.
A few days after the first interaction, let’s call it on-boarding, I will send the parent an email on “baby care tips” which would entail the below;
- Bathing tips and techniques.
- Appropriate sleeping positions and patterns for new born.
- Nutritional aid and guide, this is assuming the baby’s mum isn’t lactating just yet.
- Fabric care tips for babies. Then up sell with infant formula recommendation or any baby care products.
Depending on the time of the year, I will send out tips or how to take care your new born around particular seasons; wet, dry and harmattan.
Tips for The 3 Month Olds
Towards the end of the 3rd month and also depending on the baby’s weight at birth, we will recommend the next diaper size via email and SMS.
This could be something like “SELECT * FROM table WHERE baby weight >= 3 AND age > 3” where the first 3 is in KG and the next 3 in months.
Trust me, without proper guidance most new parents don’t know about this. As the baby grows towards the 6th month, we will send she appropriate formulae recommendations, follow that with diaper size and recommend common drugs for infant allergies.
If you do your job very well, you will quickly become the parents trusted adviser and go to store for any health and nutrition related issues for their babies.
During this phase, the “night cries” begins and it can be both frustrating and stressful. Providing tips on how new parents can cope with this phase can’t be overemphasised. They will thank for a long time.
The Drama of the 9 Month Olds
By month 9, most babies begin their teething phase. This is almost always followed by stomach upset. This is your chance to recommend solutions like Grip Water and up-sell them on that. You can also recommend pacifiers too. Most babies do well with them.
Remember, you don’t have to recommend only SKUs that you stock. While the aim is to up sell and drive traffic, the grand plan is to build customer loyalty by providing tailor made solutions that works to the benefit of both mother and child.
Start a Subscription Service
With all of this
information you have about the mother, child and the family, you can start a
monthly subscription service.
It can be a combination of diapers, formulas, toiletries and common drugs + vitamins and other needful picks worth GHC600.00.
If you have a steady membership pool of 100 parents, that’s a GHC60K/month revenue stream. To even sweeten the deal, the parents can pay members fee could make you arrange an access to a paediatrician and a monthly physical meet up from specialists. What you may not know is that new parents love to connect with other new parents.
Do a good job providing great service and these parents with their word of mouth will propagate your brand to blow. New parents trust fellow new parents. That is free publicity!
Keep tracking the child’s age and milestones and be there for their parents every step of the way.
In the holiday period, when the kids are home, running, jumping and tripping, put together a “one-time” deal for home first-aid boxes; plaster, spirits, cold meds and any other thing that can be of first response remedy.
Tap also into these parents online life – start a Facebook group, pull your customers there and let them meet fellow parents. Help them by providing information that will help them become better parents.
My oldest kid is 3 years today. I don’t know what happens from age 3 and above. But I want to sincerely hope a pharmacy gets to read this and offer solutions that fits my needs and that of the numerous mothers scattered all over the country.
Interest insights shared by Naana on her raising baby Desmond, we would love to read about your thoughts either as a pharmacy owner or a nursing mother. Get interactive with us via the chat box on this page or the comment box below.