I'm just a small independent, how can I compete?
You're an independent - whether a single store or multiple - how can I compete with the major chains online?
Well head on you simply can't. However, think smart and use what you have to your advantage. You already have a customer base, start there, it's a market with loyalty to you as long as you are competitive and you can easily communicate with them. Start by registering your customers to your website, a simple name and email address will begin to build a database you can talk to.
You can start by offering online repeat prescription ordering for customers at least. This offers more convenience and will save you, the pharmacist a great deal of time. As it becomes more popular your phone won't be engaged quite as much and automated emails will update customers. As customers embrace your online ordering system you are building a database of online customers. This means you can start to communictae with them with simple updates or more sophisticated marketing messages. If they are happy with your service why would they want to move anywhere else? This creates loyalty to your pharmacy and locks them in, people don't like change and if they are happy with a service they are difficult to entice elsewhere.
You can build on this with what you offer but it is a good place to start. Get eveyone in store, all the staff, to just start asking customers whether 'they'd like to start ordering repeat prescriptions online? save time? the system will keep a record of their regular meds' just collect name and email addresses in an excel file and that will be the start of a customer database. It WILL take a bit of effort from you and / or your staff but without ANY effort you shouldn't have the right to compete anyway!!!