Expand drive-through, curbside pickup and home delivery

New Project - 2020-04-22T080258.976

Without patients in your store, deliver even more.

In brief:

  • Because of COVID-19, many customers are seeking pickup and delivery options
  • Drive-through, curbside and delivery options help protect your patients and staff
  • Don’t just provide prescriptions; offer customers all of the products they need

Shopping without going into a store

To stay safe and stop the spread of COVID-19, Americans are avoiding groups and staying at home. But your customers still need to get their prescriptions and the other products they need.

Pharmacies can supply these prescriptions and products while ensuring that patients and staff members are protected through curbside pickup, drive-through and delivery services.

  • No window, no problem. Even if your location doesn’t have a drive-through window, customers don’t need to leave their cars. Designate an area for curbside pickup and have patients call or text when they arrive. Flower Mound Pharmacy in Texas posted this sign as a simple way for customers to drive up and pick up what they need.
  • Add to the order. When patients call for a prescription, ask what other items from your store they would like. Make it clear that this includes everything you carry, ranging from over-the-counter products to snacks. And, if you have access to in-demand items like toilet paper or hand sanitizer, be sure to let your customers know.
    Train your staff to ask about likely purchases. Do you need milk from our cooler? Would you like a magazine or one of our puzzles to keep the kids busy? If you have an online ordering option on your website, be sure to promote it at this time.
  • Expand delivery. If you already offer home delivery, consider extending your coverage area or waiving any delivery fee during the COVID-19 outbreak. When you remind people of your delivery service or announce any changes, be sure to explain how easy it is for new customers to transfer prescriptions to your pharmacy. And, reiterate to customers that you can deliver all of the products you offer in your store, not just their prescriptions.
    Shown below is a feature on a television station in Biloxi, Mississippi about how Polk’s Drugs is offering free delivery for prescriptions. Polk’s has waived its normal delivery fee and is willing to deliver anything sold in the store, including snacks, drinks and OTC products. By providing delivery, patients avoid having to stock up; they can get prescriptions and other products as needed.
  • Increase safety. Take every precaution to protect your staff and your patients. You might want to equip drivers with face masks and gloves, and add an option for customers to not have to sign when picking up orders.
    Also, for patients still coming inside your pharmacy, help them remember social distancing guidelines with simple signs and visual cues, such as lines on the floor indicating where to stand.
    In a Facebook post, Charleston Pharmacy in South Charleston, Ohio, explained that patients should practice social distancing by standing apart when dropping off prescriptions or waiting in line.
  • Partner with other local businesses. If you have room in your parking lot, consider inviting other local businesses to set up shop there for curbside pickup. This could include a farmer with fresh produce or a florist offering flowers that can unexpectedly brighten someone’s day. And, make sure to mention this on your website, when customers place an order and in the local paper.

Patients still need everything that you offer in your pharmacy. Make it easy and safe for them to get everything they need even if they can’t go inside your store.