Although online pharmacies are a relatively new concept in the UK, they’re ultimately something which, in the opinion of many, has been long overdue. Such pharmacies, all of which must be regulated by the General Pharmaceutical Council in the same way as a high street pharmacy, offer a convenient solution to those members of our communities who simply find it difficult to visit their local chemist for whatever reason. At this moment in time, many brick and mortar pharmacies are still relatively slow at adopting the online business model, however those who have are seeing steady growth and a level of exposure not previously considered possible.
Above all, by operating in the online marketplace, a pharmacy can increase their potential target market significantly. A high street pharmacy, as an example, has a target market solely of those who live and work within the local vicinity. An online pharmacy, however, has, in theory, the whole country as their target market. Of course, there’s a lot of marketing work to be done to be able to compete online, however the potential target market is well worth the effort and investment which is required to make consumers stand up and take notice. It’s still a relatively new business model within the healthcare industry, when compared to many others, and, as such, there’s still place for other players to join and fight for that all-important market share.
One of the most recent high street pharmacies to have branched out with an online offering is Medicx Pharmacy, a chain of 21 pharmacies spread out across the UK. The launch of their pharmacy, according to their website, is intended to “complement Medicx Pharmacy’s patient-focused in-pharmacy healthcare and is also expected to be welcomed by patients requiring greater discretion and privacy,” as well as stating that, “the new website is very much an extension of Medicx Pharmacy’s professional services. It is a trustworthy source of reputable medicines where patients can make purchases with confidence and access expert advice and assistance from pharmacists.”
As you can see, in the case of Medicx, the launch of their online pharmacy is backed up with the concept of bringing their range of healthcare services to a wider market. Whilst they already have 21 pharmacies across the UK, such an expansion significantly widens the reach of the pharmacy and allows them to offer the same level of service which they do in the pharmacies to those in other areas of the country.
It certainly seems to be the case that brick and mortar pharmacies are opting to bring themselves into the 21st century by taking their offerings online. There’s very few industries in 2014 which don’t offer the facility to order products online and it’s safe to say that many will welcome the launch of online pharmacies which we’ve seen over recent months.