Web and Mail Preempting Convenience and Consultation for Prescription Medicine Buyers

Web and Mail Preempting Convenience and Consultation for Prescription Medicine Buyers

The recently released Vertis Customer Focus 2006: Drug Store study shows that 58 percent of adults visited a drug store in the last 30 days to make a prescription purchase, decreasing over the last six years, from 62 percent in 2004 and 64 percent in 2000.

Scott Marden, director, marketing research for Vertis, said "In recent years the Internet and mail orders have simplified the process of purchasing prescription medicine, which has a direct effect on drug stores. Drug store marketers (should)... promote the benefits of their diverse offering and personal consultation."

The study reviewed the primary motivators for shoppers who purchase their prescriptions at drug stores, finding that:

  • 38 percent of adults, say a store's close proximity to home is a primary reason
  • 13 percent state they always make prescription purchases at drug stores
  • 9 percent of drug store shoppers cite lower costs compared to 11 percent in 2000

Jim Litwin, vice president, market insights at Vertis, says "The survey (also) shows consumers can be enticed to output photos from digital cameras, which can lead to additional sales while shoppers are in the store."

The Vertis study also revealed the following about where consumers purchase prescription drugs:

  • 65 percent of men 35-49 visited a drug store in the last 30 days to make prescription drug purchases, compared to 72 percent in 2004
  • Prescription drug purchases at grocery stores have increased from 6 percent in 2004 to 15 percent in 2006 among men 35-49
  • 49 percent of women 50 and older made prescription purchases at a drug store compared to 57 percent in 2004
  • Among men 50 and older, 52 percent surveyed made prescription drug purchases at drug stores

Results show a slight decrease in prescription drug purchases at drug stores among 18-34-year-old adults:

  • Purchases among men decreased from 69 percent in 2004 to 67 percent in 2006,
  • Purchases among women decreased from 65 percent in 2004 to 62 percent in 2006
  • Prescription drug mail orders have been on the rise from 3 percent in 2000 to 7 percent in 2006

Ad inserts are playing a more important role in the buying decision among certain demographics, according to the research:

  • 42 percent of women 35-49 with a monthly prescription stated advertising inserts/circulars influence their buying decision, compared to 19 percent who said television influences their decision
  • Advertising inserts' influence on women 50 and older, who on average fill the most prescriptions per month, has increased from 28 percent in 2004 to 33 percent in 2006
  • 38 percent of women 35-49 with a monthly prescription turn to advertising inserts/circulars first when they are ready to make a purchase, compared to 17 percent who turn to the Internet for help with their decision
  • 35 percent of men 35-49 with a monthly prescription turn to advertising inserts/circulars first to help with their decision, compared to 17 percent of men 18-34

The report also includes other in-store shopping patterns and demographics.

For more from Vertis on shopping patterns, please visit here