Maximizing Online Veterinary Pharmacy Traffic and Sales

Selling pet health products is complicated in today’s veterinary environment. No longer are veterinarians simply expected to keep a stock of common medications on hand. Pet owners want more product options from you—and they want to be able to order them through your online pharmacy. This was the case even before online sales of pet products skyrocketed with the COVID-19 pandemic—and will likely become even more so now that more pet owners have been encouraged to explore online ordering options while at home. Now’s the time to evaluate your online product offerings and communication strategy.

Clients Are Not as Aware as You Think

If you’re like a lot of veterinarians, you might say, “But I have an online pharmacy and my clients don’t use it that much.” Here’s the problem: They don’t know it’s there. In fact, while 63% of veterinary hospitals report having an online pharmacy, only 16% of pet owners say their practice has one. Some pet owners weren’t sure, but more than half actually said no when asked. The majority of those who weren’t aware their clinic had an online pharmacy said they would consider purchasing their pet’s medications there if they could.

What Do They Want You to Carry?

Pet owner purchasing options are expanding rapidly, but there’s still room for online sales growth if you can offer the right products and let pet owners who would rather buy from you know that’s an option.

Across all generations, pet owners would prefer to get medications from you. In addition to flea and tick products and heartworm preventives, pet owners are also interested in purchasing a range of other medications, treats and supplies from their veterinarian’s online pharmacy.

TITLE: Pet Owner Interest in Online Veterinary Pharmacy Products

Products with minimal veterinary interest include litter, bedding, toys, bowls, wearables and other similar accessories.

Gaining Client Consideration

It takes more communication than you’d think for a pet owner to remember your online pharmacy as an option the next time they need to order a pet health product. Make sure you’re discussing your pharmacy with clients when they are in the clinic, posting about it on your social channels and sending automatically-generated refill reminder emails that link to it directly. Also, evaluate your current product offerings and talk with your team about what products they think clients would like to buy from your online store that you don’t currently offer. But don’t feel like you need to offer everything. Even if your practice retains clients who only purchase chronic medications online, you’d experience a boost to your bottom line.

The Whole Picture

Our research shows that the ideal veterinary sales strategy is a balance between products, services and recommendations. To learn more about where pet owners want to buy, what services they want from you and how to maximize revenues, purchase the full Diggo brief, Balancing Act: Strike the Right Balance to Attract More Pet Owners.

About the Data Source

Diggo was created by Trone Research + Consulting, an independent research firm that has decades of experience conducting marketing research in the companion animal veterinary and consumer segments.