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Foreword

Medicines are essential in every household especially these days wherein we are confronted with limitations imposed by the COVID-19 threat. In particular, it makes us face challenges associated with purchasing medicines.

There are also numerous inconveniences one may face in a physical pharmacy like waiting in long lines, not knowing the price or the medicine or its pharmatheutical usage. 

It comes as no surprise that pharmacy app development comes forefront for addressing these issues. Hence, it should be regarded as the promising business strategy that benefits both the customers and the pharmacy owners.

Exploring the E-pharmacy Markets

E-Pharmacy Customers

Different retailers have started seeing the advantages of having an app for their businesses, and pharmacies have realized this too. They found out in a survey that customers who use chat and email features do not make a difference between digital and face-to-face interaction with pharmacists. In fact, 20% of customers that use a pharmacy's app have reported their satisfaction with a 23 percentage points higher compared to those who don't use apps.

As expected in any retail business, Pharmacy performance is one of the key metrics for customer loyalty and retention. It increases multifold when shoppers are able to pick up or have their prescribed medicines delivered hassle-free.  

E-pharmacy Business Growth

Online medicine ordering and apps to deliver medicines have drastically changed and revolutionized customers' capabilities and dependency on other people, especially the elderly people as well as people with medical conditions. 

In 2018, the global online pharmacy (ePharmacy) market was estimated to be worth 49.7 billion US dollars and by 2026, it is predicted that the market will grow to reach about 177.8 billion US dollars.

For the last decade the global ePharmacy market size has continuously grown with a constant increase in demand for mail-order medicines. It has opened new doors of convenience for customers enabling them to save time and effort on visiting pharmacies.

Today, the top medicine delivery apps conquering the market are:

Pharmacy2U is one of the most popular medicine delivery apps in the UK which allows the user to order and manage prescriptions at any time. Once orders are placed, the medicine will be promptly delivered. 

Walmart Pharmacy, introducing a new functionality to its mobile app, launched the pharmacy app to give their customers a more convenient and manageable pharmacy experience. The app features easy refills and prescriptions transfers, and does not require the online account.  

Lexicomp app is an application greatly favored by pharmacy technician students as it offers  comprehensive drug information on each and every medicine. Besides, it features drug administration, potential interactions, possible side effects, and contraindications for pediatric and adult patients.

Echo Pharmacy is a free app with online repeat prescription service by Lloyds Pharmacy. It works best for GP surgeries in England. Users of the app can simply request for medicines, and Echo Pharmacy app will confirm the order and deliver it to the customer.

Benefits of Having the Pharmacy Online 

With online pharmacy app, businesses generate more revenue and increase customer loyalty by:

High-Level Patient Assistance – Customers are provided with drug reference materials, pharmaceutical consultations, and medicine trackers. 

Better Chronic Illness Management – Patients with chronic illnesses can track their medicines and order up until 90 days worth of supply online instead of the usual 30 days supply in the physical store.

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Customer Loyalty – Given the fact that your app offers reminders, discounts, and promotional offers online in an unobtrusive manner, it makes the interaction easier and builds customers’ loyalty.

Convenience and Privacy – Time and cost savings are important for consumers. Aside from that, some customers find it uncomfortable buying their medicines in front of other people. With pharmacy apps, consumers feel more confident and appreciative that their privacy is respected.

Driving New Customers – Having a pharmacy app, you can work with some of the best app marketing services to help drive more customers in your business. The online presence also maximizes your customer base that translates into more profitable business.

Types of Pharmacy Apps 

Building your app must correspond to the existing online pharmacy business model and align with the strategies you implement in your pharmacy business. You may choose among the following types:

Apps for Pharmacy Marketplaces

Having a marketplace business model for medicine ordering and delivery services allows nearby pharmacies to list their store in the app avoiding monopoly while benefiting all the business included. This makes it easier for consumers to order their medicines from the local providers.

Apps for Online Pharmacy Store

An online pharmacy store is best for independent pharmacies and medical businesses wherein the company can directly connect and interact with their customers. The products are directly sold through the app and the stores accomplish delivery directly. 

Apps for Pharmacy Store Chains

Having an application for a pharmacy network under one brand can help increase sales and customer loyalty.

GOT AN IDEA FOR A Pharmacy APP? LET'S DISCUSS!

User Experience Flow

Similarly to ecommerce apps favored by consumers, pharmacy apps must be simple and easy-to-use. Let's take a look at the workflow of medicine delivery app in detail.

  • Required medicines and their quantity should be entered in the search bar. Multiple filtering categories could help improve user experience in finding a medicine of their choice.
  • When the medicines users' need is found, they can easily add to cart and proceed to checkout.
  • When the orders are placed, the pharmacy store is notified. They pack the items and delivery executives travel to the indicated location. 
  • Payment options are laid for consumers and delivery details should be made available for them to track their orders.
  • Upon receiving their orders, users can rate and review the overall service.

In addition, pharmacy delivery applications abide by high security standards when it comes to financially sensitive or health-related information.

User Roles and Feature List in Your Pharmacy App

Based on the user experience flow, there are 4 main user roles to distinguish: 

  • Customer
  • Pharmacist
  • Admin
  • Driver

Prior to the development phase, it is crucial to define a feature list for pharmacy applications associated with each user role.

Customer Panel

Upload Prescription – a copy of the customer’s prescription should be easily uploaded from their devices for pharmacists to see.

Easy Onboarding – customers should find it simple to register and log in to the application either by email, social media accounts, or phone numbers.

Category Search – build the category search with filters for advanced search.

Drug Information – details on manufacturers, price, and descriptions of available drugs should be easily seen.

Find Substitutes – give them information on substitutes and cheaper options for their medication.

Refill Prescription – with an order history feature, customers can get their prescriptions faster.

Order Tracking – with real-time push notifications, customers should be able to know the details of delivery and track their order.

Medicine Reminders – alerts and notifications on the medicine intake are a must-have component of the feature set.

Payments and Offers – a variety of payment options should be available.

Manage Profile – this feature lets users manage their profiles, delivery addresses, and payment details.

Admin Panel

Manage Inventory – it facilitates admins’ work in case they need to spot the expiration dates of stocks, see stock levels, and manage the pricing of items.

Manage Orders – admins should be able to manage the status of all the orders placed and update it as the order process progresses.

Manage Customers – having a secure database for customer information should also be accessible for admins.

Payments and Offers – deals and different discount promos are accessible in this feature for admins as well as how payments are handled.

Content Management – FAQs, and terms and conditions are stated.

Reporting and Analytics – reports provide insights that are important for data-driven decision making.

Marketing Tool – with this feature, admins can manage advertising, marketing emails, and marketing campaigns.

Pharmacist Panel

Dedicated Interface – for better order management, and inventory management, your vendor pharmacist can use the web console.

Order Notification – Pharmacists are notified timely for new orders via email or web notification.

Digitize Prescription – digital prescriptions are easily accessed and viewed by the pharmacists.

Provide Support – customer support should be readily available for clients’ needs which is key for customer loyalty and retention.

Driver Panel

Driver Login – Drivers can easily log in using their chosen login credentials such as email, phone number, or social media accounts.

Driver Profile – This allows couriers to store the history of deliveries.

Delivery Information/Status – This feature allows the driver to make necessary changes pertaining to delivery status progress.

Map Tracking – couriers should be able to use maps to track the best route and direction for deliveries.

Push Notifications – couriers should also be able to get notifications and alerts when orders are made.

Advanced Features

Apart from the main features mentioned above, there are other features you can integrate into the app to make it more interactive and user-friendly. 

In-app Consultation – this feature allows the users to chat directly with customer support and health experts within the app.

Medical Store Locator – being able to find nearby medical stores through the app’s Medical Store Locator feature makes it attractive and convenient for the customer.

Multi-Language Support – this makes your app universal and easy to use for customers internationally.

Smart Search – with this feature, users can easily check and acquire information for nearby pharmacies, and diagnostic centers. Aside from that, they can search for preferred medicines by typing the brand name directly.

Book Lab Services – having this feature makes bookings for lab tests and diagnostic check-ups online convenient for users.

Chatbots – this comes in handy when users have simple questions about the app features that can immediately be addressed by chatbots.

let's DISCUSS YOUR FEATURE SET

Creating a Successful Pharmacy App

Discovery Phase – At this stage, it is important to study the competitors and know exactly what they lack so you can get ahead. Aside from that, the preferences of your target market are listed for a more efficient marketing plan.

Requirements Collection – This stage involves detailed discussions and meeting with specialists from the technical and design departments. Its goal is to provide a detailed specification with the functional and non-functional requirements of your pharmacy application.

Feature List – Make sure that the development backlog is filled with features that match your application and meet your users’ needs.

Prototyping – having an interactive app prototype aims at showing how product features are defined on the user's end. 

UI/UX Design – the design of your pharmacy app should have a user-friendly and functional interface responsive to the latest UI/UX trends in the market.

Development and Testing

The creation of the server-side application is one of the most important parts of this phase. It is performed by highly qualified backend developers. iOS developers and Android experts come in the picture as they need to make the pharmacy app compatible with different operating systems.

The technology stack required to develop an online pharma application may include:

Front-end development: iOS - Swift; Android - Java; Web - Angular, HTML, CSS, React

Back-end development: Laravel, Phyton, Node.js

Payment processing: PayPal API, Braintree SDK or Stripe API.

Push notifications, SMS and in-app messaging: Twilio or Batch.

Database: PostgreSQL, MongoDB

Analytics: Google Analytics

Cloud Environment: AWS, Google Cloud

Location tracking: MapKit framework for iOS, and Google Maps SDK for Android. 

Social login - Facebook Mobile SDKs, social login via Google,Twitter APIs

✔The tech stack can vary depending on the required set of features, functional and non-functional requirements of your project.

During the testing stage, the code is checked and bugs are eliminated.

Upload to Store – Launch the pharmacy app on the app stores properly for users to see it and get relevant description of the product.

Pharmacy App Development: Factors of Importance 

Making a decision in favor of online pharmacy development, you should consider the following factors: 

UI/UX – the pharmacy app must have an intuitive and user-friendly design.

Compatibility with different platforms – your pharmacy app should be compatible with different devices, platforms, and software that customers may prefer using.

Security and compliance – the pharmacy app will contain sensitive information. Therefore, it should comply with rules and regulations within the regions it is catering to.

Scalability – With the increase of the user numbers you may plan the expansion of your business. It implies a demand for scalable solutions that can be delivered as integral part of your project by the experienced custom software development company.  

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO CREATE A PHARMACY APPLICATION?

The cost of  pharmacy app development project is determined by the following factors: 

  • The platform for the app development (iOS, Android, or cross-platform presence)
  • The team you work with: ideally, the team includes Project manager, iOS developer, Android developer, Backend developer, Frontend developer, UX/UI designer, and QA engineer
  • The set of features
  • The rates set for hiring and working with team experts
  • The project tech stack.     

To get professional advice, contact us by sales@codeit.us,  and we will consult you for free on a cost estimate of your project.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROJECT IDEA AND WE’LL ESTIMATE IT FOR FREE

Concluding Thought

Nowadays, delivery options for meeting such essential needs as food, groceries, clothes are available across any business, and the pharmacy industry is no exception, which means that customers expect their medicines to be ordered online and delivered without fail.

To help you achieve the goal of customer satisfaction, you need to build your own pharmacy app.  With the experts of our team, you can get consultancy on detail of your project and have online pharmacy app development of any complexity.


💊What features should be included in a medicine delivery (pharmacy) app?

Medicine delivery apps are presented with the following components: Customer app, Pharmacist app, Driver App, Admin panel. The Customer panel of pharmacy app should include the following basic features:

  • Upload Prescription
  • Easy Onboarding
  • Category Search
  • Drug Information
  • Find Substitutes 
  • Refill Prescription 
  • Order Tracking 
  • Medicine Reminders 
  • Payments and Offers
  • Manage Profile


💊What are the main online pharmacy business models?

There are 3 main business models you may choose from:

  • Pharmacy Marketplace
  • Online Pharmacy Store
  • Pharmacy Store Chain


💊What technology stack is used to create medicine delivery applications?

The technology stack required to develop an online pharma application may include:

Front-end development: iOS - Swift; Android - Java; Web - Angular, HTML, CSS, React

Back-end development: Laravel, Phyton, Node.js

Payment processing: PayPal API, Braintree SDK or Stripe API.

Push notifications, SMS and in-app messaging: Twilio or Batch.

Database: PostgreSQL, MongoDB

Analytics: Google Analytics

Cloud Environment: AWS, Google Cloud

Location tracking: MapKit framework for iOS, and Google Maps SDK for Android

Social login: Facebook Mobile SDKs.

✔The tech stack can vary depending on the required set of features, functional and non-functional requirements of your project.


💊How much does it cost to develop a pharmacy app?

The cost of pharmacy app development is determined by the following factors: 

  • The platform for the app development (iOS, Android, or cross-platform presence)
  • The team you work with
  • The set of features
  • The rates set for hiring and working with team experts
  • The project tech stack.     

To get professional advice, contact us by sales@codeit.us, and we will consult you for free on a cost estimate of your project.


Let's discuss your project

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