- Oslo: While cardiovascular medication tops the list of sales at bricks and mortar pharmacies, asthmas and allergy drugs are current bestsellers online.
With a solid mix of e-commerce and a nationwide store network, Norsk Medisinaldepot (NMD), a part of Celesio AG, and Vitusapotek are determined to win the battle for tomorrow's pharmacy customers.
“Our strength is that we are not purely an online pharmacy, we also have a physical presence throughout the country. Our customers should be able to shop seamlessly wherever they like, whether on a PC, smartphone, tablet or in a bricks and mortar pharmacy,” says NMD Commercial Director Marianne Næss.
- Men lead the way
A few weeks after launching online sales of prescription products, Lene Strand, Head of E-commerce, has noticed several tendencies amongst customers who shop at vitusapotek.no. Products in the asthma and allergy category sell most, followed by analgesics. Then comes medication for pain relief plus birth control pills and erectile dysfunction drugs.
“Cardiac medication tops the sales statistics in bricks and mortar pharmacies. This is probably because here we are usually talking about slightly older and less digitally literate customer groups. The typical online customer is male, although we do see a pretty broad mix of ages, gender and geographic location amongst people who buy prescription medication on line,” Strand says.
Another trend is that many online pharmacy customers prefer to collect their orders at their nearest pharmacy branch.
“The vast majority have a pharmacy close to where they live or work, and around a quarter of our online customers choose to collect in store rather than sit at home and wait for delivery. Similar purchasing patterns can be seen in other sectors, such as the electronics sector,” Strand notes.
- Medication on subscription
According to Project Manager Harald Buset of Devoteam Fornebu Consulting, Vitusapotek has implemented a state of the art for e-commerce solution. Since the launch, NMD and the consulting company have continued to develop a number of innovative add on solutions.
“We're about to launch a solution for express delivery where Vitusapotek can leverage the distribution network to deliver medication to customers within a few hours,” Buset explains.
“We have also started a payment pilot project, where customers will be be able to pay using the Vipps app on their smartphone. We will soon be adding a subscription service for repeat prescriptions, which will make everyday life easier for patients with a chronic condition,” Marianne Næss adds.
- Keeping up with developments
Norsk Medisinaldepot is a leading wholesaler of pharmaceuticals and health-related products. It also operates the pharmacy chain Vitusapotek and franchise chain Ditt Apotek. Altogether, they manage some 300 pharmacies all round Norway from the group head office in Oslo. NMD has recently witnessed an increase in online sales, not least since October 19th when private consumers have been able to buy prescription medication online in Norway.
“Although customers are becoming increasingly digitally literate, the number of prescriptions remains the same. If we fall asleep at the wheel, we're going to lose market share, which means we can't afford to be stuck with an outdated e-commerce solution. Before the rule change our online revenue was the equivalent of the turnover at one of our smaller pharmacies. We realised that we had to invest to win the fight for digital customers,” Næss says.
- Delivered on time, within budget and at the agree quality
Devoteam Fornebu Consulting led the project from concept to roll-out. The consultants put together the requirements specification, took care of the tender process and project managed development, testing and implementation.
Two separate modules sit behind the online pharmacy vitusapotek.no. Pearl Consulting has developed a SAP Hybris platform for sales of standard pharmacy products and over the counter medication, while Visma has produced an e-commerce module that meets mandatory requirements for the sale of prescription drugs online.
“It has been a complex project where the external conditions were changed during the course of it. Despite this, the project was delivered on time, within budget and to the quality specified. The suppliers demonstrated tremendous flexibility during the project work, which meant we were able to achieve our targets,” says Sigrid Hov Fodnæss, Head of IT at NMD.
About Norsk Medisinaldepot (NMD):
NMD is a subsidiary of Celesio, which is a part of McKesson (ranked number 5 of Fortune 500)
- Norsk Medisinaldepot, Marianne Næss, Commercial Director, mobile +47 992 16 737
- Devoteam Fornebu Consulting, Project Manager Harald Buset, mobile +47 990 50 005
- Devoteam Fornebu Consulting, Thomas Heiskel, Director of Business Development, mobile +47 905 15 900
This article has been written by Pressenytt on behalf of Doveteam Fornebu Pressenytt has editorial responsibility for the content of this article.