Pharmacy Merchandise: How to Boost Sales

The best ways to display items in your drug store to boost sales

Pregnant woman reading label on prenatal vitamin bottle in pharmacy. Steve Debenport

Most people assume merchandising (promoting the sale of products through strategic presentation) is solely reserved for clothing and other goods—not in the retail pharmacy space. But if you’ve got all the right goods in your pharmacy, yet no one is buying, then it may be very likely that it is your merchandising strategy that is lacking and not the product itself.

How to Boost Pharmacy Sales Through Merchandising

Having a strong pharmacy merchandising strategy is an important and vital aspect of boosting sales.

 Sales don’t just rely on you having what people need, instead there are a few different factors—starting with customers being able to find what they are looking for, and the right products in the right place to tempt the customer into an impulse buy.

Below, two experts share their tips on how you can better improve your pharmacy merchandising strategy:

Seasonality. Make sure your products are right for the season—whether it’s cold season or allergy season—because you'll want to maximize on customer needs. You should have the product before the season hits and to have it there when consumers need it, according to Neil Stern, a senior partner with McMillan Doolittle, a retail consulting firm in Chicago. “The more places you can put these products, the better.”

Large Displays. Use big displays for seasonal items, and don’t be afraid to move things around, says George Whalin, president and CEO of Retail Management Consultants, San Marcos, Calif.

“With seasonal items, make it more interesting and dynamic with each season or holiday and customers will want to come into the store more often.”

Front of Store. Really use the front end of your store and change it out by seasonality. “It’s such a critical area of the store that’s often overlooked,” says Stern.

“It’s a good place to put things with good margins, as well as new products and some quirky ones—put some surprises in there. But change the products out regularly (at least monthly) so this section doesn’t get stale or boring.

Zones of Interest. Create a zone for some items and don’t be afraid to display them more than once because customers can miss items if they’re only in one place.

Change it Up. Have new products regularly and introduce those products to customers by exposing them to it. Advertise that you’ve been getting the product in every category. Have a dedicated space that changes all the time but always place new items in there so customers know where to look for new arrivals.

Know Your Customer. Decide what your customers’ destination purchases are vs. impulse purchases, then invest in displays of the former, advises Stern. They’re probably things that matter to people, such as vitamins. And once you have a display, make sure it’s easy to find and easily called out.

Partner Up. If you sell food and alcohol, partner with the big brands and be sure to use their resources for merchandising.

What you shouldn’t do:

  • Don’t put all of your focus on aisle end caps (front of store or clear signage may be more important for your customers). “Customers don’t go up and down every aisle, so if you just use those end caps, you’ll miss a lot of customers,” says Whalin.
  • Avoid standalone merchandisers in the aisle, which interrupt the continuity of getting things seen by the consumer.
  • Don’t place too many items high up, especially if you’re in an area with a large elderly population.” The goal of the store is to showcase your product so customers can see new things and get at them,” Whalin points out.
  • Avoid clutter—just put up the signs that the consumer needs and is really going to use.