Norman Rockwell’s iconic 1939 painting, “The Pharmacist,” looks old-fashioned in just about every sense. From the clothes on the subjects to the antiquated jars clogging the pharmacist’s workspace, it’s clear that it is representative of a time gone by. As a team of pharmacy consultants, ATRIUM24 is always thinking about our industry — and the Rockwell image got us pondering recently about today’s pharmacist and the evolution of not only the position’s roles and responsibilities but what it means to be a modern pharmacy owner.

One of the biggest (if not the biggest) advantages today’s pharmacist has over our predecessors is the internet. The web has revolutionized the way that we operate our businesses. It’s altered how we attract new clients, process claims to get paid, and remain knowledgeable about drug safety. But not all pharmacists are using the internet to its fullest extent. In fact, there’s one simple thing you can do to help boost your bottom line: Start an online store.

What to sell in your online store

When we’re talking about your online store’s contents, there’s an important distinction to make. The type of store we’re discussing today is not a distribution method for prescription drugs. Rather, your online store should be used to sell over-the-counter shelf items that your customer might purchase while they’re in your store picking up their prescription.

Take our Palm Harbor Pharmacy online store, for example. Scroll through our offerings and you’ll find sanitizers, masks, thermometers and pulse oximeters — all of which are particularly important with COVID-19 raging on. But you’ll also find our burgeoning line of CBD products, which we believe is a differentiator for our business. Our customers can easily swing by the pharmacy to pick up any of these items, but an online store gives them the option to make a purchase from the comforts of their living room as well.

How to set up your online store

In order to have an online store, you need the backend support of an e-commerce platform and a credit card processing provider. While this sounds confusing, it’s not nearly as convoluted as you might think. Providers like Shopify and Square are attractive options that make it simple, but depending on what your site sells (i.e. CBD), you may not be able to use these platforms. Here’s a little tip: Your friends at ATRIUM24 can help you work around those limitations. Contact us today to learn which e-commerce platforms are pharmacy (and CBD) friendly.

Once that’s settled, make sure to include photos of your inventory and brief descriptions for each item in the online store to give your customers an idea of what they’re buying. Shipping is always a big concern for anyone with an online store, but we’ve found that offering in-store pickup and delivery via medical courier are the best options. Our cost with the courier is less than any other delivery service, and the customers are able to receive their purchase within 24 hours. The majority of our customers are local — as yours will likely be — but we are happy to send a package to anywhere in the U.S.

What to sell in your store and how to set it up is really just the beginning of establishing your presence, but it’s the two most important steps to get you up and running. With years of pharmacy consultant experience under our belts, ATRIUM24 can guide you in getting your online store off the ground and becoming profitable. Just fill out our Contact Us form, and we’ll be in touch soon!