PHARMACY APP: CLIENT'S GUIDE
Pharmacy apps have always been giving busy people an excellent shopping experience – quick, convenient, and easy. But today, in the time of the worldwide COVID crisis, medicine delivery apps are becoming significantly important for more and more people. Ordering via mobile or web platforms with non-contact delivery ensures safety, and a user-friendly interface provides a wide selection of medication.
Keep reading to discover what you need to know for building an on-demand medicine delivery app.
Whether you create a pharmacy app for a single brand or develop an online marketplace, you’ll gain lots of advantages.
- Attracting new users. This process becomes much more efficient with a mobile app, as you help each customer resolve the problem – how to order medicines without leaving home or searching for the nearest open store.
- Converting newcomers into paying customers loyal to your business. You can achieve this goal if you create a pharmacy app with an intuitive, easy-to-use, friendly interface guiding a user through every stage from search to purchase.
- Providing customers’ security and safety. While some people don’t feel comfortable buying their meds in a physical store in front of others, you can ensure a better experience for them on your app. Moreover, encrypted user data and safe payments via popular one-click systems will make your customers feel protected and trust your platform more.
- Helping patients with chronic illnesses. It’s important for this category of your customers to order a 90-day supply and use tracking options.
- Getting constant feedback from your customers. It helps to improve and expand the business.
- Promotion and marketing. Create a medicine delivery app and use innovative digital tools to advertise your business, as well as to study customers’ preferences and user behavior.
- Increasing profit. You can effectively use push notifications and other tools to inform customers about sales, discounts, and special offers. Doing it on your pharmacy app is easy and not intrusive – this way, customers usually respond positively and purchase more actively.
- Becoming a market leader. It’s possible if you find solutions for your customers’ problems and build enough trust. A pharmacy app becomes a perfectly productive, innovative, and up-to-date tool for it.
The standard process is quite similar to many other delivery apps that have several functionality panels for various kinds of users.
Each customer should:
- create a User profile;
- complete an order and pay for it;
- track delivery and receive the purchased goods;
- contact customer support if needed.
A pharmacy app’s owner has an Admin panel to:
- manage orders, payments, and deliveries;
- use inventory management tools;
- communicate with customers, vendors, drivers, etc.
This process doesn’t seem difficult. However, when it comes to medicine delivery apps, you have to remember one necessary thing – a prescription. Each of your customers provides it to purchase certain types of medicine, while a licensed pharmacist from your staff must check its validity.
Reliable pharmacy apps are the future of the industry. Look at the key requirements from the American FDA:
- having a physical street address in the US;
- having a license (for each state);
- asking for a prescription;
- offering consultation with a licensed pharmacist.
Exceed Team’s experience: You must study the rules for electronic prescriptions in your country and region. It’s now enough to create an online pharmacy app, you have to make sure it follows the law.
Zion Market has made a global research suggesting that the online pharmacy industry might reach $107 billion worth by 2025. It means that starting a project in this field is a promising idea, but you need a well-thought strategy to succeed.
You can use one of the existing business models that have already proved their effectiveness in the online pharmacy industry.
- An app for a pharmacy chain. You can create it to engage with customers online, making their shopping experience most comfortable while regularly increasing your sales.
- A single company’s pharmacy app. It can serve for an online store or for a new manufacturer. Mobile application helps enter the market and attract more customers.
- A pharmacy app for specific prescriptions. That’s a platform offering a wide selection of products intended for a certain group of purchasers. For example, you can create a pharmacy app to sell vitamins and food supplements or baby and children products.
- A pharmacy marketplace. This app works in one area or country and connects various brands, meaning a user can choose the most suitable location, quality, and price.
- A telehealth mobile app. It contains integrations between healthcare services (clinics, doctors, insurers, etc.) and pharmacies, so a user could have one app for everything – seeking qualified advice, ordering prescribed medications, and purchasing health insurance.
You can create a pharmacy app and then monetize it in different ways. Let’s discover some examples:
- online pharmacy marketplaces charge commissions from partner stores (e.g., for placing an offer on the platform, for delivery services, etc.);
- all types of apps add a delivery fee to each user’s order;
- some medicine delivery apps offer premium subscriptions that enable bonuses like free delivery or discounts on purchases;
- any medicine delivery app can make money through advertising and sponsored programs (e.g., the Recommended section for partner stores, the display of a particular product at the top position in your app’s search results, etc.)
- Reputable apps accepting prescriptions. Virtual healthcare is one of the top popular trends in 2020-2021, and a variety of online pharmacy apps takes a perfect place in the industry. It’s safe to say that a mobile pharmacy app is a trend in itself – the demand is very high today, while not so many digital products like that exist. According to the latest research, the number of adults using prescription drugs is 66% in the US alone. However, a medicine delivery app is an option only for 5% of them. One of the reasons is that it isn’t easy to find a legitimate online store selling certified meds. If you become that store and create a user-friendly app for an online pharmacy, it means following the industry’s most important trend.
- Telehealth apps and other integrations. Combining different forms of healthcare services in one app is another trend for the nearest future. If you’re planning to create such a platform, keep in mind that its development will require medical professionals’ input.
- No-contact delivery. This option has been appreciated by many customers. But in the COVID-19 situation, no-contact delivery became a must. Think about if you want to create a pharmacy app. Ensuring your users’ safety and convenience is one of the most significant values today.
Your future app should have corresponding functionality for customers, pharmacists, admins, and couriers. Developers will create a variety of features for different groups of users.
The top-10 features for a customer include:
- Registration and Log-in – we advise you to create an email/phone registration and social login;
- Profile management – users need to conveniently fill in and refresh their basic data like address, payment information, etc.
- Upload Prescription – a necessary feature for a pharmacy app; a user easily clicks and uploads a photo from their phone’s gallery;
- Refill Prescription – you need to create this feature for chronically ill patients and other users who need to re-order the same drug without uploading a prescription again.
- Search – enables users to find medicines by name or ingredient; it’s also worth adding filters and an auto-suggest function to make the process quicker and easier;
- Product Info – each customer needs some helpful information before placing an order; create confidence by providing descriptions of drugs, equipment, and other healthcare goods;
- Payments – we suggest applying one-click systems (ApplePay, Braintree, etc.);
- Payment History – here each user will see their payments, promo codes, and special offers.
- Tracking Option – it’s essential for customers’ trust to include a real-time map or push notifications on the order’s exact status.
- Support – you may create not only direct chat but also in-app tutorials, FAQs, etc.
The pharmacist panel should include:
- Registration and Log-in – your staff member should create an individual account;
- Check Prescription – a certified specialist should be able to see and verify prescriptions downloaded by users;
- Support – chat (text, audio, or video) with a customer.
The courier panel includes:
- Registration – to create a profile and get verification;
- Orders – to take and manage orders;
- Order history – for updates and delivered orders;
- Chat – for communication with customers;
- Online support– to create questions and resolve issues.
The admin panel of a medicine delivery app typically consists of:
- Control – to see all in-app activity of customers, pharmacists, couriers, or other admins.
- Pharmacists – a helpful feature when you create a network of specialists;
- Customers – a secure database for marketing purposes;
- Payments – here an admin can see user payment details and create new discounts.
- Orders – this feature helps keep everything in one place and track statuses.
- Inventory – to create new items, manage prices, etc.
- Content – to add and edit all in-app content, including texts, images, and video.
- Analytics – to collect in-app statistics for effective decision-making.
Exceed Team’s experience: It’s worth adding advanced features to enhance your app’s functionality. Users will be more likely to download it to solve more of their pain points. Furthermore, innovative features will make your product stand out in the market.
- Substitutes – searching for alternatives or cheaper analogs of the prescribed medications.
- Health tips – any articles or checklists on health-related topics.
- Medicine reminders – smart notifications on when to take meds.
- In-app consultation – advice from a licensed healthcare professional via a video chat.
- Find stores – a map with your stores and offices to find the nearest to a user.
- Lab test – booking a laboratory consultation to check any medicine.
- Medical records – users can conveniently keep their medical records on the app.
- Multi-language support – very helpful for a popular app.
- allows doctors to send prescriptions directly to the platform;
- enables a video chat with a pharmacist;
- allows using Alexa and Google Home to refill prescriptions and order again;
- enables one-day delivery and emergency (one-hour) delivery.
- has a helpful design with the most needed services on the user panel;
- shows a prescription example with a layout and explanations;
- works as a pill reminder;
- allows making appointments with doctors;
- connects with laboratories to test medications (and has its own lab);
- offers a variety of healthcare products, apart from meds;
- has a blog with a selection of health-related articles from medical professionals.
- sells prescription meds;
- also offers inhalers, creams, testing equipment, and some other healthcare products;
- has free delivery;
- enables 24/7 user support;
- assists in resolving issues with insurers or doctors.
- allows to login via Google or Facebook;
- sells Ayurvedic and other traditional medicine products;
- offers ready-made solutions (skin products, balms, first aid, etc.);
- enables making appointments with doctors;
- offers orthopedic and measurement devices;
- allows ordering special purpose footwear.
Exceed Team’s experience: The most efficient choice is to create an app available on both iOS and Android, just like the popular ones are. Such versatility helps attract potential customers and expand the audience.
There is a wide range of technologies used by Exceed Team developers and all other specialists working on mobile and web apps.
- Frontend development for iOS – Swift, React Native
- Frontend development for Android – Java
- UI/UX design – HTML, CSS, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop
- Databases – MongoDB, MySQL, Amazon RDS, PostgreSQL
- Cloud Data Storage – AWS, IBM, Microsoft Azure
- Payment Integrations – Braintree, PayPal, Stripe, Twilio, ApplePay, GooglePay, credit/debit card
- Email Registration – Twilio, Mandrill, Amazon SES, Mailgun
- Analytics – Google Analytics, Big Data, Apache, Hadoop
From our experience, to create a well-designed and smoothly functioning pharmacy app, you need a team of at least eight IT specialists. It includes:
- 2 front-end developers;
- 2 back-end developers;
- 1 UI/UX designer;
- 1 QA engineer;
- 1 project manager;
- 1 business analyst.
According to the statistical data collected by the Blue Corona marketing agency, 60% of the Internet users turn to their smartphones for information search. And while doing that, over 51% of them discover new products and companies. The number of users ready for an immediate purchase had twice increased in 2016-2017 and has been growing since that. Almost 90% of purchases are done via E-commerce, and over 40% of them are conducted via mobile devices.
Mobile apps represent 89% of the time people normally spend on their smartphones. It is clear that having a pharmacy app will boost the popularity of your store or company.
When you create a pharmacy app, you need to go through several development stages.
- Define your goal – what you exactly want as a final product.
- Discuss the idea with app developers and create your requirements list.
- Do the research on the market, audience, competitors, etc.
- Create an interactive prototype of your pharmacy app.
- UI/UX designer creates an intuitive, user-friendly interface for the app.
- Front-end development – specialists will create the app working on both platforms, iOS and Android.
- An online pharmacy app’s back-end development to create your app’s server-side.
- QA testing to find and fix errors in the app’s operation.
- Launch your app and upload it to online stores.
- Listen to users’ feedback and support your app properly.
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