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The Ultimate Guide to Online Pharmacy App Development: Key Steps and Solutions

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    November 4, 2022
The Ultimate Guide to Online Pharmacy App Development: Key Steps and Solutions

These days, especially the post-COVID-19 breakout, the need for medicines has become more pertinent than ever before. Now, almost every household has made it their top priority to have the necessary medication at home. Having the essential medicine and medical aid has become even more pertinent in the current scenario as the globe faces various restrictions due to the COVID-19 threat. One big challenge before users is in the guise of lockdowns imposed due to the sudden increase in COVID cases now and then. Due to this, it gives rise to online medicine delivery app development where you can buy medicines in just a few clicks.

Even if you manage to get to your local pharmacy, you should expect long queues, expensive drugs, social distancing tactics, the inaccessibility of particular tablets and injections, and so on. To address these issues, a lot of pharmaceutical companies introduced pharmacy apps. These pharmacies focus solely on medicines’ delivery at the doorsteps of users. Furthermore, they offer the convenience and comfort of ordering medication even during these difficult times. That is why the demand for online pharmacy app development has increased sharply of late. 

Some of the top pharmacy brands have created apps to make medicines accessible for all – right online. You only need to download the app on your mobile device to make an order for your necessary medicines and pharmacy items with a few clicks, swipes, or taps. The medicine will be sent to your house in discreet packaging.

We can say that the pharmacy apps are mutually rewarding for the pharmacy owners as well as customers. Before we discuss further the pharmacy or healthcare mobile application development, it makes sense to understand what a pharmacy app is all about?

Pharmacy apps are more popular, frequent, and significant as they provide a reliable platform for connecting people who need medicines and pharmacies that provide these medicines. Such apps have become the primary source of a wide range of healthcare and pharmacy products such as lab tests, medication, doctor consultations, information about medicines, and so on. These applications offer comprehensive pharmacy support for all people who require medicines but are unable to visit the pharmacies or other healthcare facilities. 

As such, services are made available directly on our phones via mobile apps, individuals find it simple to obtain their essential medications and receive healthcare assistance when needed. They no longer need to be concerned about issues such as first aid, blood tests, and medicines. 

They provide reasonably priced medications for avoiding needless expenditures. Customers can avoid the high medical fees imposed by hospital pharmacists by using these applications. The online pharmacy market is expanding further and at a commendable pace.

The reasons and factors behind the growing popularity of these apps are discussed hereunder for your quick reference. 

Online pharmacy customers: A lot of  healthcare mobile application development experts and pharmacy & healthcare providers have started reaping the advantages of pharmacy apps. Several previous studies found that many consumers had the same problem: a shortage of medications when they are required and a lack of contact with pharmacists.

Many customers who use pharmacy apps today are more satisfied compared to those who cannot. As we expect, most retail businesses and pharmacies have gained the loyalty & retention of customers via pharmacy applications. It provides easy and quick access to the users for picking and ordering their prescribed and required medicines to have them delivered safely, without hassles at their doorsteps. 

Growth of e-pharmacies: While we talk about pharmacy apps or healthcare application development we see several brands competing in the online sphere today. Customers have grown more ecologically conscious and responsible with the advent of online pharmacy and prescription delivery. As a result, persons suffering from various medical and health concerns and who have prescriptions from their healthcare providers can have all of the required medications delivered to their doorsteps without delay.

The last decade has seen significant growth in the pharmacy market. With the rapid advancement of mail-order-medicines, there has been a big leap in the e-pharmacy segment. These apps focus on better healthcare and, thus, are becoming quite popular among users across the globe. It is expected that the online pharmacy market will grow to hundreds of billion dollars in the next few years. The sector has introduced immense convenience to customers making it easier for them to save the valuable time & effort that they had to spend visiting pharmacies earlier. 

Benefits of pharmacy applications – at a glance

With the help of online pharmacy and healthcare apps, retailers and businesses have carved a pertinent niche in the marketplace. While they have upgraded the medicine delivery app development, they make way for easy and better communication and connection with customers. Hence, with such apps, the vendors are generating more revenues while improving their goodwill. Let’s take a look at some of the advantages that pharmacy applications provide to consumers in general.

–        Improved patient assistance: Customers can use various useful features of these apps such as medicine trackers, drug/medicine reference materials, pharmaceutical consultations, and improved management of chronic illnesses. Patients with chronic conditions find these apps more useful since they can easily track their prescriptions, doses, and place orders for up to three months’ supply of medicines online. These apps also help you avoid the usual monthly prescriptions and procedures of repeatedly visiting the store. 

–        Increased loyalty of customers: These apps are very important for maintaining customer interest and loyalty, improving connection and communication with customers, and other benefits for users. Features such as push notifications, promotional discounts and offers, faster delivery, free consultations, privacy, and convenience are the other benefits of these apps. Other than these, such apps help save the cost and time in procuring medicines. 

Many times, it happens that some customers don’t feel confident about buying certain medicines when other people are also present. With pharmacy apps, however, you can order the required medicines conveniently and privately. So, these apps help maintain your privacy while buying any of the prescribed medicines you need.

–        Get more customers: You may scale your pharmaceutical business easily and quickly by venturing into the online pharmacy delivery sector. Your trusted pharmacy app development provider will follow the tried & tested strategies of marketing methods. You can boost your website traffic and make your presence online. Through an online presence, you can maximize your reach to potential customers and ensure the overall growth of your business. 

What are the different types of pharmacy applications?

Before you decide to hire a pharmacy or healthcare application development company to build your pharmacy app, it is essential to learn about the different types of pharmacy apps. 

–        Pharmacy marketplace apps: These apps provide the local pharmacies an opportunity to expand their business in the marketplace. With services such as medicine order & delivery, pharmacies may avoid monopoly where every store gets a chance to cater to the customer’s medical supply needs. This way, customers will have more choices and options when it comes to ordering pharmacy products.

–        Online pharmacy store apps: Online pharmacies are increasing day by day. These pharmacies provide support to independent as well as medical businesses. Through these apps, the companies can connect with the customers directly and assist at a personal level. Moreover, the products are delivered straight via the app, and the stores carry out the delivery. 

–        Pharmacy stores apps: Having a pharmacy network app under one brand may help to increase customer loyalty and business significantly. 

Core panels of pharmacy apps in 2021

Based on the requirements and demands of users, a pharmacy application has the following vital user roles: 

  1. Pharmacist
  2. Customer
  3. Admin
  4. Delivery

So, much before you hire a NodeJS or React Native application developer or just any other healthcare software development company for your project, it is vital to discuss the key features of the above-mentioned user roles associated with the pharmacy apps.

Customer panel

The features of the customer panel include:

1.Upload prescription: The prescription receipt needs to be uploaded on the app which the pharmacist can verify and fulfill. For some medicines, the pharmacist will need to contact the user/customer via in-app calls/chat to check.

2. Hassle-free onboarding: Each app must have this feature of easy onboarding and customers do not prefer complex interfaces when they need help (such as medical emergencies when they need immediate help). Login is easy and can be done via social media accounts, phone numbers, email, etc.

3. Searching for category: Filtering search should be easily available in your application as scrolling through countless options will lead to a total waste of time and delayed process. With advanced search, customers can quickly find what they are looking for. 

4. Information about the drug: Details on price, descriptions, and manufacturers of available drugs must be easily visible. They should have accurate information about drugs. Information such as drug manufacturers, price, expiry dates, and salt available description may have a direct impact on the buying decision of most customers.  

5. Find an alternative: This feature allows customers to compare the medicines based on their prices, manufacturer, etc, and make an informed and better decision. 

6.  Refill prescription: The customers should be able to place the order again based on their past prescriptions. Lengthy procedures and the repeated search will defy the interest of customers immediately. 

7.  Tracking the order: The order tracking feature is a must-have in pharmacy applications. 

8. Reminders: Medicine alerts, notifications, and reminders on the regular intake of medicines are a very important component of the customer panel’s feature sets. 

9.  Payments & offers: As technology continues to advance almost every day, a lot of on-demand payment apps have emerged of late. As the latest trend is that of contactless delivery, online payments turn out to be the most convenient option for completing an order. For payment fulfillment, the payment options that can be used include online payments, debit & credit cards, internet banking, cryptocurrency/crypto wallets, etc. 

10. Manage your profile: By allowing users to edit their existing details on their profiles, the manage profile feature allows users to edit their profiles, payment details, delivery addresses, etc.

Read - What Are The Benefits Of An Online Pharmacy Application?

Pharmacist Panel

The key features that must be present in the pharmacist panel are discussed hereunder: 

1. Interface: for better and efficient inventory management and order management, the pharmacist (vendor) can make use of the web console. 

2. Notification of orders: Pharmacists should be able to have quick access to the orders and connect with the vendors for fulfilling all urgent requirements of medicines. 

3. Digital prescription: Digital prescription is a great step towards reducing unnecessary use (or rather a wastage) of paper. Digital prescriptions require less space, are easy to save, and can be mailed or shared. With digital prescriptions, you don’t need to worry about losing the prescription by mistake amidst a huge pile of papers. For doctors, the handwriting issue is also resolved with digital prescriptions. Digital prescriptions help users and pharmacists to analyze them efficiently. 

4.  Support: Quite often, pharmacists fail to fulfill the requests and demands of customers due to lack of proper logistic support or unavailability of medicines. Users want to inform the pharmacist about these issues. This is when the support & contact feature may help them reach the provider directly and effectively convey their message.  

5. Customer support: This should be available for customers. Customer support is the key to increasing customer retention and loyalty. 

Admin Panel

The key features that are a must-have in the admin panels of healthcare and pharmacy apps include the following:

1. Inventory management: Managing inventory eats up a lot of valuable time & effort as the supplier’s goodwill depends majorly on this. So, this feature helps suppliers in spotting the expiry dates of their stock, pricing of various items, and availability of the same. 

2. Order management: Admins can manage all orders’ status and update them as the process of the order progresses. Managing the orders is the key to any pharmacy or healthcare application development project. The order management feature in the admin panel allows the admin to segregate orders, manage customers, manage order delivery status, and update the process progress status, among others. 

3. Offers & payments: For keeping up the customers’ goodwill, the application should provide all the discounts and offers. Such deals and discount promos need to be easily accessible. For admins, they can keep a track of payment handling. 

4. Content management: This is a very important feature and it displays your idea while helping you sell it to potential customers. Content that should be present in this section may include the FAQs, terms & conditions, blogs, articles, news, and testimonials. 

5. Analytics & reporting: Various customers place their orders almost daily. Keeping track of each order they placed along with its details may become difficult. Customers face issues due to payment management, order management, and logistics issues and these must be addressed immediately. This section will help in bridging the communication gap between the customer and the vendor (supplier). It will also help businesses in improving and sticking to the suggestions of customers. 

6. Marketing: With the help of this feature, admins can manage the external factors that attract customers to use the app. Marketing can be achieved through advertising, email marketing, promotional activities, marketing campaigns, etc. 

Delivery panel

 While pharmacists, customers, and admin panels are very important for the success of any on-demand pharmacy delivery application, no such business can survive without an efficient, reliable, and timely delivery system. Delivering the ordered medicines to the customers in safe, hygienic, and perfect condition and within the stipulated timeframe is the key to success in the pharmacy delivery business. The key features of the delivery panel in this app will ideally include the following: 

1. Driver login: This feature allows drivers to log in using their login credentials provided by the pharmacy service provider to them. Log-in can be handled by the driver’s phone numbers, emails, social media accounts, etc. 

2. Profile of the driver: The profile of the driver is a must when delivering pharmacy or any other product. As they are responsible for delivering the ordered goods to the customers, a lot of trusts is placed on the drivers. The driver’s profile provides detailed information about the driver to the admin and understands the level of efficiency of each team member. Based on their performance, the delivery agents/drivers are awarded their salaries, incentives, etc. This feature also includes information about the orders delivered by the driver in the past. 

3. Delivery status: This indicates the status of orders to be delivered by the driver such as delivered, out for delivery, etc.

4. GPS tracking: The map tracking feature allows drivers to deliver orders to the customer without getting confused about the location of the customer.

Other key features that need to be present on your app’s delivery panel include push notifications and more. 

Summing up

While the pandemic is still here, the businesses are making a paradigm shift from traditional to online. Just like most traditional businesses have moved into the digital sphere, the pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors have also moved to the web with pharmacy and healthcare application development. As a pharmacist, you also stand to gain immensely through these apps. All you need is to prepare, ideate, and contact a pharmacy and healthcare app development services provider to convert your app idea into a reality. 

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