For the average customer, ordering medical supplies online is more personal and private than many other experiences. Online medical stores have seen a significant increase in popularity due to the high level of customer service and privacy they offer. Technical aspects notwithstanding most of the competitive advantage that E-Pharmacies have comes from inventory and logistics-led-disruption.
E-Medicine companies can focus on customer service and shipping costs by leveraging economies of scale. Direct-to-customer communication, home shipping fulfillment, fair trade and availability of generic medicines inventories are just a few examples. You can also use an on-demand pharmacy delivery app to get your medicine delivered at your doorstep.
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Online pharmacies can increase their market share due to the combination of easy payments, privacy, and control. Online pharmacies have the disadvantages of online shops, but the consumer prefers to buy medicines from local pharmacies. Even though the endpoint pharmacy network is not well-structured, it still has better control over their digital counterparts.
If the local medical retail chain is able to get over the visible shortcomings of last-mile fulfillment with E-Pharmacy-like-disruption in customer service, they might still have a chance to restrict the growth of online medical stores to urban-metros and Tier-1 cities only.
Automated storage lockers, and medicine dispensing machines are already providing emergency medicine deliveries to hospitals and medicare facilities. General Medicine stores have yet to adopt such customer-centric features. Customers expect more from their shopping trips to the medical shops.
The ability to buy more per visit at drugstores through over-the-counter experiences has been proven to increase the likelihood of making a purchase. While online pharmacies have covered the majority of urban medicine delivery markets, sub-urban routes remain open.