The explosion of the healthcare crisis caused by COVID-19 has drastically changed consumer shopping preferences and behaviors. It looks like these changes are here to stay, and will form the basis for an ever growing digital commerce sector.
The pharmaceutical field is no exception to the current market climate. A study from Osservatorio Netcomm on the digital healthcare and pharma industry returned a significant datapoint: in Italy, 2021 saw a 43.3% increase in the sector compared to 2020. The data underscores a radical shift in user shopping habits, spurred on by the current crisis, but also, and perhaps more than anything else, by the increased opportunities in digital shopping.
Digital transformation has taken a little longer for pharma compared to other industries, but with the pandemic turning the world upside down, the field is becoming increasingly ambitious and competitive. That means it’s more important than ever to have an online presence that’s well thought out and well-supported by a meticulously curated platform.
Going along with this idea, website optimization has become a crux for pharma ecommerce: the better it is, the better the possibility of generating adequate numbers in terms of sales. Optimization means honing in on all the processes that increase user satisfaction. These processes bring us back once again to user experience design, a.k.a. improving platform usability, making it easier to use, intuitive and a space that encourages interaction between users and the website. The same idea holds true for healthcare apps, which we touched on in a previous article about the importance of UX in digital medicine.
UX design represents the foundation for implementing all the elements and features that a site should have to deliver on to meet with user expectations. This clearly isn’t a one-off activity, but comes into play during every phase of the project, from marketing to project management.
Designing a Pharma Ecommerce Website
Some basic UX principles outline the most important characteristics of a web interface
- consistency: websites should strive for uniformity, graphical and structural cohesion across the board
- visibility: users should be able to instantly see and understand the various elements of the website
- affordance: the interface should be intuitive and communicate to users exactly what they can or cannot do
- predictability: users should be able to easily predict the outcome of an action and what to expect
- feedback: the system should guide users during interactions and help users when they don’t correctly complete an action
In other words, through design we can render users’ navigation experience delightful and help them achieve the goals that brought them there in the first place. It’s the famous user flow, which represents the journey through our ecommerce website. Make it inspiring and users will take the opportunity to accomplish our desired actions, make it difficult and they’ll go somewhere else.
The UX Recipe for an Ecommerce Success
Multiple studies have demonstrated that prioritizing a satisfying experience in the design process to create an optimal user flow has a huge impact in terms of achieving business goals. A well-devised and developed experience, using the principles cited above, makes a notable difference in business growth and leads to standing out from competitors.
Naturally, when building an ecommerce website we can’t just aim for meeting business objectives, but we have to drum up user curiosity and motivation in the first place. By doing that, we can set conditions for their learning during navigation.
Correctly handling all these ingredients contributes to the success of an ecommerce platform. These steps have to be interconnected as well; randomly splicing in UX design just doesn’t work.
It can all get quite complicated. You need a well-defined design process when talking about strategies to create the right digital environment to increase the chances visitors turn into clients.
This is even more true for the pharma world, where the particularities and complexities of the products means that context-specific know-how is absolutely crucial for a complete and reassuring service, in line with the expectations of the target audience.
The Current State of the Pharma Market
You could say that pharmaceutical ecommerce stands as the natural evolution of a brick-and-mortar store. The only difference is that unlike a physical store, pharma ecommerce websites have the potential to reach millions of customers. They also offer novel ways to paint a picture of health and well-being, including blogs, videos, targeted marketing strategies to increase customer loyalty and, last but not least, competitive pricing. On this last point, it’s safe to say that digital marketing truly opens up a world of opportunity for reducing costs compared to traditional offline ads.
According to the latest report from IQVIA, the largest healthcare data science company in the world, in the next five years a total of 300 new pharmacies will most likely launch. This significantly increased rate will translate into 196 billion dollars in new spending.
The same report also details the rising trend of digital pharma in Italy. While in 2019 the value of pharmaceutical ecommerce was estimated at 234 million euros, 2020 saw that number jump to 389 million, a 66% increase in sales.
Se stai pensando di affacciarti al commercio elettronico in ambito farmaceutico, oppure hai bisogno di un partner per dare ulteriore impulso al tuo store online, Conflux ha le caratteristiche giuste per seguire tutto il progetto, i professionisti specializzati nelle diverse attività necessarie e l’esperienza di anni di attività nel settore. Non ti resta che contattarci per iniziare a progettare insieme a noi la tua nuova attività commerciale digitale.