Turn new parents into lifelong customers
Offer products, services and expertise new parents need
- New parents are an extremely important, attractive opportunity for independent pharmacies.
- Build traffic and profits with this group by becoming their go-to pharmacy resource.
- Provide the unique products, services and expertise new parents need.
- The result: turn parents and families into loyal, lifetime customers.
For independent pharmacies, new parents are an important opportunity. (See: Why parents are an important segment for independent pharmacies.) Think of the many prescriptions, cold and flu items, bandages, vitamins, supplements, and dozens of other products and services these parents will need in the years ahead.
As a pharmacist, you can make new parents’ lives easier with the expertise, products and services in your pharmacy. In doing so, you can develop strong relationships that last a lifetime.
What new parents need
From the time you recognize customers are starting a family, let them know you are ready to help. You can help mom and baby before pregnancy, immediately after coming home from the hospital and in countless other ways.
- Before birth – help fill the gaps. Well-wishing friends and family will shower expectant parents with plenty of goodies. But they will inevitably miss some essentials. Share a helpful checklist with expectant parents of items you know they will need, including:
- Maternity pads.
- Morning sickness solutions.
- A thermometer (or two).
- Tdap vaccines for grandparents.
- Postpartum care help.
- Stock a mom and baby section. Linton Square Health Mart Pharmacy, in Delray Beach, Florida, is planning to differentiate its store by creating an entire department focused on mom and baby. This section will have products that are not otherwise available at local pharmacies. It will include a wide range of purpose-driven products to help mom and baby before, during and after pregnancy, through breastfeeding and throughout the infancy stage. By providing these unique products the pharmacy will be able to attract and serve a brand-new demographic.
- Help at feeding time. Every baby needs to eat multiple times each day. Identify ways to help new parents with products such as:
- Breastfeeding supplies, including rental options and replacement parts for pumps.
- Regular specialty formulas, including options for babies who are premature, have milk allergies or whose families are vegan.
- Organic, locally produced baby foods.
- Specialty feeding systems, such as those for babies with a cleft palate or other conditions.
- Add comfort. An exhausted parent may think only of filling a prescription. Explain other ways to ease symptoms and comfort kids, such a humidifier or a plush toy.
- Make it easy To make life easier for parents, Linton Square offers both a drive-through pharmacy and delivery. (Seniors aren’t the only patients who appreciate convenience; parents do, too!)
- Consider compounding. Linton Square compounding technician Cheryl Cook has already visited local OB-GYNS to explain what the pharmacy can offer for hormone treatment. Cook can now build on those relationships to spread the word about other compounded solutions the pharmacy provides that are relevant for new parents. For example:
- Nipple creams.
- Flavored children’s medications (bubblegum and cotton candy are most popular).
- Medications in alternate forms. For children who can’t take liquids, the pharmacy can prepare medications for delivery through a pacifier, lollipop or gummy product.
“Compounding is growing and bringing in more families” Cook said.
- Offer vitamins. Parents want to feel they are giving their children a healthy start. An offering such as Health Mart children’s vitamin program brings families into your pharmacy every month and builds the association that your pharmacy is the place to go for wellness.
- Share your knowledge. New parents have lots of questions and often turn to online avenues that don’t have the expert knowledge and personal touch that you do. Offer quarterly Q&As for expectant and new parents, possibly in conjunction with a pediatrician or pediatric nurse. Answer frequent questions on social media.
The most valuable gift you can give new parents is your expertise. Show them the difference an independent pharmacy can make by taking time to talk and counsel them. “There are pharmacies everywhere,” Cook noted, but “we know each patient by name.”
The combination of products specifically for new parents, unique services to assist parents and young children, years of experience, and your personal touch will make your pharmacy the go-to resource for new parents in your community. You will build trust, create long-term relationships and produce positive word of mouth.
Just like Linton Square Health Mart, think about which of these ideas, or others, your pharmacy can implement to attract new parents to your pharmacy.