Wondering how to start an online pharmacy business?

Let’s have a look at some statistics first.

Indian online pharmacies alone amount to USD 20bn with addressable medicines covering the market share by 47%. This report of Statista also predicts an estimated spike of 60% by 2023, especially with the ease of online medicine delivery via e-pharmacy outlets.

You can visualize the growing demand of online medicine delivery across the globe from this ‘tiny’ bit of information. Be it young, elderly, or critically ill patients, the online medicine delivery app has been useful in facilitating healthcare supplies at their doorstep.

In the rough times of the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020, the active eCommerce platforms have almost led a revolution while delivering medicines, sanitizers, healthcare supplies, and similar products via on-demand pharmacy delivery apps.

Technology like e-prescription and e-verification has enabled pharmacy chains or stores to adapt the profound means to help people without too much dependency on various factors. Therefore, venturing in this on-demand medicine market does open a score of opportunities for you.

How To Start An On-demand Medicine Delivery Business?

Dipping into any business industry requires thorough research, if not expertise or skills. You can test the waters with a simple survey to know what people like, dislike, approve, or disapprove about products or services.

Whether counseled for this on-demand medicine delivery business idea or not, you can take the following route to know more.

·         Market Scenario

Knowing the Who’s and How’s of this business is pertinent to joining the fray. Brands like Practo, 1mg, NetMeds, etc. are already prevailing in the industry with a huge customer base.

For example, NetMeds is one of the most trusted online medicine delivery apps with solid investment backing from companies like Sistema Asia Capital, OrbiMed, etc.

Right from finding prospects to exploring the profitability of this business model, the market scenario shall capture the ‘scope’ of this project.

Are there any competitors in the ‘zone’ or hyperlocal area where you want to market your app or online pharmacy? If yes, find out the positives and negatives about them.

Leverage on their negatives to build an outstanding product for the market. The adulation from the public comes at a later point, but until then you have to prove a point of selling a unique product.

·         Buyer Persona

You will need the help of some statistics here, particularly the demography. SurveyMonkey is one such popular platform to collect data from free surveys.

Understanding your target audience plays a prominent role in building the business.

What are they aged between? Which brands do they prefer? What are their needs or requirements? How do they shop for medicines? Answers to these questions rightfully direct your analysis to develop a concrete solution and an effective marketing plan.

Build a buyer persona to target the specific demography. This doesn’t mean you’ll focus the rest. Having a persona lets you focus your business around them, addressing key problems for the major consumers.

·         Develop Partnerships

Getting started with an on-demand pharmacy delivery business requires you to make partnerships with pharmacy stores, pharmacy chains, and medicine, or drug dealers.

You can consider the example of NetMeds and Practo. Learn how they started partnering with pharmaceutical companies for their business. Not-so-overwhelming start helps you correct your mistakes and later on forge new relationships.

Trustworthy pharmaceutical companies aren’t hard to find. You just need to push yourself a notch higher with the research part and get things on the right path.

·         Establish A Business Model

Charging for delivery or commission? What’s the right way to collect revenues? You’re making a business profitable with a deep sense of gratitude for partners, customers, and delivery guys.

Any startup or established business never found huge popularity for the long-term until they understood the stakeholders’ requirements.

In this context, you should understand the perspective of each stakeholder and their interests. Though it can’t be 100% convincing for everyone, you can build a broad consensus with the team.

So, whether you charge a commission of 10-20% on medicine or healthcare supplies’ order, the main stakeholders must also receive enriched benefits.

·         Budget Consideration

Any wannabe entrepreneur hits a roadblock when it comes to budget. Securing a capital investment right from the start couldn’t be an ideal pursuit for everyone.

Although news & media highlight the trends of angel investors, not every single entrepreneur is lucky enough to receive such showering immediately.

Thanks to affordable app development pricing, you don’t have to wander around for budget for this part at least. Having a budget does help you take off the plans on a stable note.

Meanwhile, you can configure the costs for resources, expenditure, etc. associated with the online pharmacy store business.

On-demand Medicine Delivery App Development & Features

After what we discussed in the above, online medicine delivery app development becomes the cog in the wheel to start a business. This app should feature various crucial features for user interaction along with advanced introductions to enhance the overall functionality.

1.       Customer Panel

Customers love a well-intuitive, navigation-friendly platform on a clean app-face. Some of the must-have features include:

·         Registration & Login

·         Search medicines

·         Brand & product comparison

·         High-quality images

·         Medicine brand information

·         Order placement/cancellation

·         Order return

·         Re-order option

·         Push notifications

·         In-app communication

·         Online payment options

·         Review & rating

·         Customer support

·         Prescription upload feature

·         Discounts & offers

·         Refill reminders

2.       Pharmacy Panel

The pharmacy partners should receive a professional kind of virtual desk on their respective panels.

·         Registration & Login

·         Store Management

·         Inventory Management

·         Product Management

·         Price Management

·         Order Management

·         Delivery & Shipment Interface

·         Product Listings

·         Discount & Reward Management

·         Product offerings & options

3.       Delivery Panel

The delivery contractors or riders receive updates on their app panels regarding orders & delivery.

·         Registration & Login

·         GPS Navigation Help

·         Route Optimization

·         Order Information

·         Pickup & Drop Points

·         Incentive Points

·         Location-based Updates

4.       Admin Panel

Being the administrator of the business, you would want control over a variety of aspects.

·         Admin Dashboard

·         Order History

·         In-depth Analytics

·         Order-related Management

·         Accounting Management

·         Payment Management

·         Marketing Updates

·         Pharmacy Management

·         Notification Management

·         Additional Features

Advanced Kind Of App Features For Medicine Delivery Business

Want to build a ‘superb’ medicine delivery app for everyone? These advanced features specify to become a strategic point for the turnaround of a business.

Automated Chatbots – An integrated in-app chatbot can solve real-time medicine-related queries. Based on Machine Learning and AI Technology, these chatbots offer prompt yet detailed answers to customer queries.

Prescription-based Orders – Easy scans and uploads of medical prescriptions on the app facilitates faster order processing and delivery of medicines. Meanwhile, pharmacists can recommend alternatives from these orders.

Delivery Preferences – Facilitating users the provision of ‘schedule & pickup’ employs a fine-tuned strategy. This helps customers who are on their way to something and have to pick up medicines from the pharmacy store within their route.

Multiple Payment Options – Payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, WorldPay, RazorPay, etc. prove beneficial for safe & secure payments. Other options like UPI payments, Card payments, e-wallets, etc. should also feature in this list.

Social Sign-ins – This feature offers an enjoyable and friendly interaction to customers when they can swiftly login to the app using their Facebook or Google accounts. With required user permissions, the app can fetch some of the details from the linked accounts.

Legal & Regulatory Compliance

Before commencing any business in the medical sector, you should understand the legal perspective to prevent yourself from non-compliance with regulatory obligations.

Drug or pharmacy license is mandatory for any on-demand medicine delivery business to take off in this manner. You need pharmacy degree or diploma certified persons on board for acquiring licenses from the drug control and regulatory organizations in the state or country.

Trained pharmacists and experts can help you avoid run-ins or troubles with drug regulatory boards or any violation of drug delivery procedures.

Wrapping Up

You can start from scratch or begin with a ‘smart’ approach to building an empire from the online pharmacy business. The key here is to join a market study of present offerings, prospective buyers, critical app features, and successful business models. At the same time, don’t forget the strict compliance measures.

Connect with one of our experts for building a medicine delivery app!