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ONLINE PHARMACY APP DEVELOPMENT: FEATURES TO ADD & CHALLENGES

Together with the growth of healthcare industry innovations, the pharmacy segment also experiences significant changes. People’s spending on medicines are going up, which proves the pharmaceutical industry is in great demand. According to Statista, in 2020, approximately $1.27 trillion was spent, up from just $887 billion in 2010.

At the same time, the need for quality, fast, and convenient medications delivery services is increasing for several good reasons.

First of all, the restrictions due to the COVID-19 outbreak suggest alternative ways of shopping. Long queues and expensive or unavailable drugs may lead to consumers’ frustration. In addition, clients are getting used to online purchases as a more time-saving and convenient option.

As a result, the industry finds a solution in pharma app development. The main goal of such software is to increase customer flow and meet current market needs. The preliminary focus is on convenient and timely medicines delivery.

Pharmaceutical applications are built based on a common eCommerce platform model. However, the development of such a product requires compliance with some additional rules and requirements. That’s why creating an online pharmacy can be more challenging and require a specific approach.

Business Benefits of Custom Pharmacy Apps

In 2018, the ePharmacy market value was less than $50 million. The market size is expected to reach more than $177 million by 2026. Such rapid growth is due to clear benefits for both pharmaceutical business owners and their consumers.

Here is how pharmaceutical businesses and consumers could benefit from online pharmacy app development.

Inner Process Systematization

The pharmacists’ and administrators’ responsibilities are overburdened by paperwork, constant reports, and data operations. Such tasks completion can be automated with the help of a pharmacist app and an admin panel. Entrusting complex internal processes to an efficient software solution will save pharmacists a lot of time to deal with more urgent matters.

Such apps will facilitate, optimize, and arrange an inner environment that is especially beneficial to large pharmaceutical chains.

Increasing Efficiency

Internal systematization and digital solutions lead to increased efficiency. Pharma apps can scale the business, boost sales, and improve brand recognition. Adding analytical features to your app will also provide you with valuable data. You may learn the employees’ productivity, sales and marketing funnels efficiency, the target audience’s needs, etc.

Hence, digital tools will help you improve your business strategy and stand out in a highly competitive market.

Expanding Client Base

The key factor that affects your pharmaceutical business growth is the clients’ flow. Pharma app development will bring you more customers by gaining their loyalty with the help of effective tools. Push notifications, discounts, special offers, and accelerated delivery will attract people and, accordingly, increase the profit.

Gaining More Security and Control

Data security and administrative control are the main pillars of modern healthcare and pharmaceutical software solutions. Pharma apps enable delivering prescriptions right to the customers’ doors, with no risk of being overheard at the drugstore. It makes an app more reliable and trustworthy.

The application’s compliance also guarantees security with the required regulations such as HIPAA. At the same time, admin panels provide comprehensive control over internal databases and systems.

Relieving Customer Pains

A pharma app can make your clients’ lives easier, which will also convert into their loyalty. Firstly, the pharmacy’s customers won’t have to waste time waiting in lines. The chance to order medical aid with no human contact is also highly beneficial as it reduces the risks associated with the pandemic. Finally, pharmaceutical apps enable people to compare prices and have a much wider choice.

User Experience Flow in Pharmacy Apps

A common pharmacy customer app should have certain features that enable users to perform basic operations using intuitive navigation. The main goal of such an app is to provide clients with a convenient and direct way to search, select, order, and receive the desired medications.

Let’s reveal a typical customer journey mapping (CJM) to learn the basics of a pharma app’s user flow.

  1.   After entering the app, a customer searches for the required medicine. You should provide users with a convenient search bar. The filters will help reduce looking-for time. It’s also worth enabling an option to upload an electronic prescription.
  2.   If more detailed consultation is needed, a customer should contact the pharmacist via a call or send them a message.
  3.   After selecting the medications, a customer adds them to the card.
  4.   In the payment section, a customer fills in the form with their delivery date and address. Simplify this process for registered users. For new users, provide quick and clear onboarding.
  5.   A customer selects the payment method. You should offer a few payment options, including credit card, PayPal, online wallets, etc.
  6.   After the payment confirmation, the order is prepared by pharmacy workers and handed for delivery.
  7.   Enable customers to track their orders in the corresponding app section.

Pharmaceutical App Features

A custom pharmacy app should contain a set of relevant features to perform well, meeting your business’ needs and customers’ expectations. The nature, number, and complexity of these features depend on the app’s type and the audience it serves. Here are the most widespread types of pharma applications with their essential functions.

Customer App

Use the best practices of modern eCommerce platforms to build a mobile app for pharmacy. The difference between a common online store and an online drugstore lies in the latter’s enhanced security and compliance requirements. UI/UX design should provide an intuitive interface, clear navigation, and user-friendly features.

Easy Sign-in, Onboarding, and Log-in

Simplify registration and log-in processes by enabling entrance using email, phone number, or social media account. Allow customers to start using your app after a few easy-to-follow steps. Make a good first impression with brief and clear onboarding. Don’t overwhelm users with too much information. Let them know that your app is straightforward and accessible.

Search with Filters

Searching for the desired medications is the key component of a pharma app. The ability to filter goods by category will save a lot of time for the customers. Also, you may enable users to find the nearest pharmacies on the map.

Information about Drugs and Comparison

Allow the users to view details about the chosen medicine. Provide them with full information about the drug, its manufacturer, contraindications, instructions, and so on. You can add a function that allows scanning barcodes on the medicine package. Enable price comparison and substitute search in case a drug is too expensive or not available.

Prescription uploading

A customer should be able to upload the prescription received from their doctor. It’s extremely important for pharmacists’ verification and purchasing legality.

Cart and Payment

These are common features for any eCommerce app. Provide the users with a sufficient choice of payment methods, including credit or debit cards, online wallets, crypto wallets, etc. Allow the buyers to check the order details before confirming the purchase. Also, you can provide a simplified reorder option.

Push Notifications

Implement this feature to report order status, remind you to take medications, and notify about discounts and discounts, and special offers.

Order Location Tracking

As the main goal of an online pharmacy is to enhance drug delivery service, order tracking is one of the key functions. With its help, customers can see the current status of their order. It can be displayed on a map for complete clarity.

User Profile

The registered users should be able to create their profiles by filling in basic personal information. Registration may be optional. But you can offer authorized users special discounts and other benefits. Enable updating profiles by editing address, payment details, etc.

Communication Features

Many customers may need a pharmacist’s professional consultation or advice. An online drugstore can meet this goal as well. Allow users to contact specialists by messaging or calling them inside the app.

Pharmacist Panel    

Pharmacist software serves the needs of professionals. They need a tool to manage orders, verify prescriptions, provide consultations, etc. A pharmacist panel should automate certain processes to reduce paperwork and improve management.

Order Management

The main objective of pharmacist apps is to provide specialists with an efficient tool for managing orders. They should receive notifications about the orders, accept them, and change statuses. They may also have to contact medication providers to request unavailable drugs.

Prescription Verification

Pharmacists should receive prescriptions, ask for them if required, and verify if they are genuine.

Warehouse Systems Integration

Pharmacists should have access to warehouse systems to replenish the stocks.

Admin Panel

Admin panel conducts maintenance, deals with databases, logs, and the entire system organization. The admin panel should be equipped with features that will enable analytics, reporting, and centralized management to provide pharma solution management.

Analytical Tools

Analytical tools such as dashboards will provide timely reports and control over data regarding sales, employees’ performance, customers’ needs, and so on. This information will help admins optimize the workflow and improve business strategy.

Payment Management

This feature is for payment tracking and ensuring the security of customers’ banking data.

Inventory Management           

Pharmacy’s inventory requires constant supervision and inspection. Admin panels help to verify current prices, availability, and expiration dates of medications.

Marketing Features

Admin panel software provides specialists with information about the progress of marketing and sales funnels. Thus, the business develops an optimized strategy that involves advertising, emails, and marketing campaigns. As a result, it helps to conduct more efficient content management and customer service.

Courier Panel

These panels serve the needs of drivers and couriers. On-demand pharma apps are successful thanks to well-functioning delivery systems. Ensure that couriers have access to order details, map tracking, and status changes on their smartphones.

Sign-up and Log-in

This feature is essential and should be as clear and intuitive as in the customer application.

Navigation Feature

Map tracking is used to guide couriers to their destination and choose the most convenient routes. This feature is usually implemented with integrations of platforms such as Google Maps.

Notifications

Push notifications provide couriers with information about new orders and status changes.

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