The growth of the Internet and smartphone users have prompted many traditional businesses to integrate technology into their business operations, which enables them to serve customers efficiently and optimize their supply chain and other business tasks. During the past few years, India has seen tremendous growth in regular smartphone users and the number of online users. These two factors have contributed to the rise of eCommerce platforms developments and the internet being an accepted way of purchasing products.
Purchasing medicines and medical equipment are no exceptions to this. Owing to the various patient safety risks associated with going out to purchase medicines, the particular segment of online medicines has seen a surge in its user base, and therefore online medicine delivery is becoming a new norm.
Marketing research firm techARC reported that as of December 2019, India had more than 500 million smartphone users. This was a 15 percent increase from 2018. It also said that "1 in every 3 smartphone users shops online in India."
The India Cellular & Electronics Association (ICEA) projects the total smartphone users in India to reach 83 crores by 2022.
This is such a big market and also one that is growing. So it has good potential to serve customers. Indian companies have a lot to gain by switching online. One article in McKinsey urged the Indian companies to adopt the wave of digital adoption, saying “Indian consumers have strongly embraced digital technologies. Now India’s companies must follow suit.”
During this COVID-19-related lockdown, demand for e-pharmacies has skyrocketed. As one article in Financial Express put it, “Households ordering medicines from e-pharmacy startups grew 2.5x amid lockdown; to grow 8x in 4 years.”
It further stated that “During the lockdown period, e-pharmacies regularly served approximately 88 lakh households in India, growing from an earlier figure of 35 lakh households.”
So, when it comes to e-pharmacies there is no demand issue. Demand is at an all-time high, but whether the pharmacy shop owners rise to the occasion and provide online medicine delivery remains to be seen.
Why Online Pharma Applications are on the rise?
- Increased convenience: Online pharmacy applications enable customers to order medicines through their smartphones. Customers nowadays prefer to buy medicines without going outside, this is facilitated by online pharma applications.
- Cost-effectiveness: Online pharmacies are offering huge discounts on the purchase of medicines. And some pharmacies also offer a ‘refer & earn program, wherein customers get an additional discount if their referrals are successful.
How do Online Pharmacy Solutions increase your sales?
By adopting an online pharmacy solution, the pharmacy shop owner gets dual benefits. The existing sales of their pharmacies will increase because their offline store will remain operational and their online website or app will give them more exposure in the market.
An online pharmacy will enable them to start online medicine delivery and serve a broader customer base.
What is the procedure to start selling medicines online?
To start an online pharmacy, you need to understand relevant rules and regulations and follow these steps.
1. Understand the laws governing online pharmacies
All these complexities have compelled different countries to set up different rules and regulations. Some countries don’t distinguish between online pharmacies and offline pharmacies. So, some countries have the same rules intending to govern and control physical pharmacy stores and online pharmacies. These rules are fixated on keeping brick-and-mortar pharmacy stores in mind.
Although some countries have recognized the term ‘online pharmacy’ as a different entity, not all the rules have been made clear enough for the governance of pharmacies. There are certain undefined or grey areas in the laws of certain countries.
In some countries, the local statutory body inspects your premises and approves the online pharmacy. Whereas in other countries, just having a registered pharmacist is all you need to start selling medicines online.
2. Secure your brand name and the domain name
To start selling online, one needs to have a website, an app, or both.
For the website, it is essential to register your brand name independently and purchase the domain about that name. It is advised to perform this action as soon as possible to ensure there is no conflict in ownership of your domain name.
You can purchase .com, .in, or any other domain that best suits your needs. You need to purchase an App Store and a Google Play Store account also.
3. Finalize the structure of your business and get relevant licenses
To start an online pharmacy, it is required to have a registered medicine specialist. In India, if you have a physical pharmacy store, chances are you are a registered medicine specialist. In case you are not, you can get yourself registered for the same.
The registered medicine specialist can also be a business partner, a board member, or a paid representative. Some countries might have some restrictions regarding this, so it is better to study the prevalent laws about this domain.
4. Select the right platform
When it comes to choosing the right platform, there are plenty of options in the market. Look at the platform which satisfies all your needs and provides all the necessary features.
5. Build a strong supply chain
Switching to online pharmacies offers exciting opportunities for business owners to expand their business. However, it is essential to have genuine products available all the time to establish customer trust. To facilitate this, it is cardinal to build a robust supply chain and have authentic items in your stock.
Designing an Android app, an iOS app, and a website bearing your brand name or your store name will allow you to create your brand value, which in turn, will give you more recognition in the market.
To get more information about How to do Indian E-pharmacies Operate and What are the Rules and Regulations Governing Them? check out this link.
For that, you will need to contact a platform development company to fulfill your requirements.
EMedStore has the unique experience of working in the pharma IT domain. EMedStore believes in giving value to the customers. So, we not only help our clients with online pharmacy mobile app development and online pharmacy website development but also equip them with sound marketing tips.
From our experience of working globally in the pharma IT domain for more than ten years, we gained recognition from our clients for our excellent solutions. We build a high-quality website, android app, and iOS app for your business.
Want to see why our clients across the globe rely on our services for their online pharmacy needs? Get your free demo here.
Contact us to develop your online pharmacy application: Call +91 63676 58233 / +91 94086 38536
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