United Drug Consumer are strengthening customer relationships through the digital evolution with their latest website offering. As Covid-19 reached Irish shores so too did the realisation that new ways of working would have to be explored. Communicating with customers is ever important within the pharmacy industry and so, for United Drug’s Consumer Division, questions had to be asked and solutions sourced. David Ruane, Head of Consumer Sales and Marketing for United Drug brings us through the digital solutions that he and his team implemented in the last year.
“Ultimately, we wanted to create an online experience similar to one you might access from the comfort of your sofa, and I think we have achieved that”.
Digital has become central to all interactions now, forcing many into a world in which digital channels become the primary customer-engagement. The United Drug Consumer division launched their B2B latest digital offering in November of last year.
“Being driven by Covid-19 we instantly set about looking at ways we could streamline and enhance our communication with customers.” David and his team set about to identify and achieve a number of goals.
“We started supporting our customers moves into the online arena; this was done through supplying them with digital assets, for example, which they can use on their own social media channels and web offerings.”
“We also established our own online platform; this enables our sales representatives to talk to their customers directly. They receive bi-monthly news and always have a team member on hand to discuss any forthcoming issues.”
The new www.udconsumer.com site gives customers access across three of United Drug Consumer’s businesses; Pemberton, Intrapharma and Blackhall.
The consumer team strive to maintain the highest levels of service, offering flexibility, accuracy, and total reliability. Their integrated IT systems allows them to identify and measure KPIs, helping to continuously improve their service and process efficiencies.
Our digital team have made the ordering process as easy as possible for our customers; they can shop by category such as baby; health & wellbeing and skincare or they can shop by product. There is also the additional feature of Menu Ordering, where all information is readily available and the detail for each brand is visible.
With Shopify, businesses such as United Drug Consumer are able to enter the ecommerce world to create a website and use an in-built shopping cart solution to sell both digital and physical products. It also offers a system that allows customers to quickly and easily manage things like shipping requirements, and inventory tracking.
“Users can simply repeat their last order – as everything is saved in their personal log-in. We have our marketing and training hub in there as well. In order for community pharmacists to be able to sell a product on to a customer, it is critical they are educated and knowledgeable about its use.”
Another benefit with the new website, is the strengthened speed in United Drug’s ability to get new information out to customers. “ProfitLines is another integral part of our consumer offering, and this site will soon be available on the Shopify platform.”
“The digital evolution is definitely here to stay, and our team here at United Drug Consumer are committed to supporting our customers as they adapt their offerings to new shopping behaviours. I firmly believe we will still see customers in pharmacy stores and that it’s not about digital versus bricks and mortar, but it’s about multichannel accessibility for consumers to products and services.”