4 ideas to sell more this summer!

Fun products and techniques to boost your profitable front-end sales

Fun products and techniques to boost your profitable front-end sales 

In brief:

  • Front-end products often deliver high margins
  • This summer bring in fun, unique products that get customers’ attention
  • Have creative displays and merchandising
  • Target visitors who stop in when they have forgotten something
  • Train your staff on suggestive selling and upselling
  • The net result: you will sell more profitable front-end items

Your pharmacy is your main focus. You are implementing new clinical programs to differentiate your pharmacy, better serve patients and grow your business.

But do you know what else can grow your business? How about driving front-end sales.

Why to focus on the front end

While often not a priority, your front end can put smiles on the faces of customers and more money in your pocket. A reminder of why your front-end sales matter: gross margins can be 38% or more1 and margins are 15% higher than on prescriptions.2

Gross margins can be 38% or more and margins are 15% higher than on prescriptions

Creative front-end products can increase sales to customers in your pharmacy and can attract more customers and more traffic.

4 ideas to boost front-end sales

Summer is a time for fun. Bring this spirit to your front-end marketing and merchandising and watch your profits grow. Here are four ideas to increase your front-end sales this summer.

  • Bring in fun, creative, unique products

Of course you need the basic front-end products that customers expect. But summer provides the opportunity for fun products that will stop customers in their tracks, cause them to smile, and get them to buy and tell their friends.

There are many online lists of hot, innovative products, at a wide range of price points. Here are a few ideas:

  • Popsicle molds
  • Pool floats
  • Fun beach towels
  • UV meter
  • Colorful flip flops
  • Portable speakers
  • USB-powered mini-misting fan
  • Water balloon sling shot
  • Cooling body towel
  • Cooling pillow
  • Inflatable monster sprinkler
UV meterUSB-powered mini-misting fanInflatable monster sprinkler
  • Dazzle with displays

Just as you update your wardrobe in the summer, dress your store for the season.

      • Update the view. Customers shouldn’t see the same thing every time they walk in. Create a new front-end experience at least every season and update displays at least monthly. Involve your staff in creating ideas that customers will enjoy. Make your displays creative and fun. Use bright summer colors. Have themes and feature your fun, unique seasonal products.
      • Repeat important products. Place items like sunscreen, insect repellent or your unique items at multiple places in your store. The more that customers see these items, the more likely they are to buy them.
      • Entice shoppers. Change some displays every week during the summer and feature special items. Promote your unique items and weekly specials through in-store signage, signs in your windows, and on your website and social media.

Did you know?

The section Additional Front End Revenue Drivers’ on McKesson ConnectTM has a variety of item and displays to attract your shoppers with summer essentials such as sun care, sunglasses and insect repellents. You’ll also find a sun care planogram with best-selling sun care products such as sunblock, tanning oil, sunburn relief and much more!
  • Target out-of-town visitors

During the summer, it is likely that many out-of-town visitors will be in your community. They will be visiting family or friends, taking vacations or just passing through. And many of these visitors will forget things and will need items in your pharmacy. This includes:

      • Basic health and beauty items like soap, shampoo, toothpaste and saline
      • First aid items like bandages, antibiotic ointment, and treatments for poison ivy or sunburn
      • OTC basics like treatments for upset stomachs, colds or headaches
      • Summertime staples such as sunscreen, bug spray, sunglasses and lip balm

Consider a prominent display near your entry with a sign such as, “In case you have forgotten anything.” Do outreach to local hotels and walk-in clinics to let them know that your pharmacy has everything a visitor would need and even provide these businesses with coupons they can give to guests or patients to come to your store for anything they have forgotten.

  • Upsell and cross-sell

Often, selling more is not just about the products you stock and the creative displays you build; it is about understanding customers’ situations and recommending the appropriate products.

How often have you heard the expression, “Would you like fries with that?” This is a basic example of suggestive selling.

Your pharmacy can sell more by training your staff to engage in appropriate and targeted suggestive selling. This means observing that a customer is buying one particular product and in turn suggesting a related, complementary product. Train your staff to observe and suggest.



Sunburn relief

Sunscreen to prevent burning next time


Lip balm with SPF

Allergy relief

A neti pot or a hot/cold mask to soothe eyes and sinuses

Relief for mosquito bites

Insect repellant products

Insect repellant

A tic remover for their backpack

Sunglasses for an adult

Children’s sunglasses, hats or visors


Antibiotic cream or first aid kits



Along with suggestive selling, locate related products together and highlight them with signs.

With unique products, eye-catching displays, and suggestive selling, and by featuring often-forgotten items, your pharmacy can heat up your front-end sales and increase your profits.


1 “What’s hot in the pharmacy front end,” SmartRetailingRx, Dec. 8, 2015. LINK
2 “What Is the Average Independent Pharmacy Profit? (And How to Grow Your Profit Margins),” Elements, May 9, 2018. LINK