Online pharmacy apps have gained a lot of traction in recent years. Pharmacy providers as well as end-customers benefit from medicine delivery apps. Modern-era consumers prefer the convenience of online medicine ordering and doorstep delivery. Pharmacy services are utilizing apps as a tool for brand recognition and creating new channels for revenue generation.
Building an online pharmacy app is a great way to grow your business and establish your digital footprints amongst your target audience groups. So, this post explores pharmacy app development from different angles. A quick read will provide you with answers to the following questions:
What is a medicine delivery app?
What are the key Business Models of Pharmacy App Development?
What are the major Features to include in your application?
What are the advantages of Pharmacy Apps?
How to go about the online medicine delivery app development process?
So, let’s explore the different aspects of pharmacy app development!
What does an online Pharmacy App do?
A medicine delivery app allows consumers to order medicine online and get doorstep delivery. Buyers can choose from different options and reap the benefits of competitive pricing. Some pharmacy apps offer additional services like online booking of laboratory tests, preventive healthcare check-ups, etc.
Pharmacy App Business Models
You need to choose the right pharmacy app model that serves your business goals. The two most prominent online pharmacy app development models are the inventory-based model and the aggregator-based model.
The inventory-based online pharmacy app model is applicable for licensed pharmacy businesses that have a huge inventory of medicines stored in offline stores or warehouses. Many of these businesses may operate through various regions as well.
This is how the inventory-based model functions. The ePharmacy receives online orders from consumers. Customers need to upload a valid scanned prescription or an ePrescription while placing the order. Then, a certified pharmacist verifies the prescriptions and the pharmacy dispenses medicines. Pharmacists pack the medicines inside a tamper-proof package and deliver them to consumers’ doorsteps using their in-house resources or a third-party delivery service.
Examples: Medlife, CareOnGo, Netmeds, and Myra.
The marketplace-based online pharmacy app model is an aggregator service; it connects the consumers to the pharmacy operators. It acts as a facilitator between licensed medicine suppliers and end-customers.
The owners of such pharmacy apps need not own medical supplies. They tie up with licensed medical providers or third-party pharmacies. The pharmacy providers registered with the app enlist their products on the website or mobile app. Consumers compare different pharmacies, choose products, and place orders. The marketplace app aggregates medicine orders from end customers, processes orders, and sends those orders to external pharmacy delivery drivers. Such an app is also called a Prescription delivery app. Pharmacies then verify the price and prepare the order. The pharmacy may also cancel the order if there isn’t any valid prescription against a specific order. The end customers get home delivery of their orders through a courier service.
Examples: PharmEasy and 1MG.
Pharmacy App: Key Features
Take a look at the basic and advanced features of a complete online pharmacy app development solution. A complete solution comes with different categories.
- A UI that’s easy to navigate
- User profile with the necessary details
- Prescription uploading
- Category-wise browsing with advanced search filters
- Medicine details with usage instructions & possible side effects
- Comparison of medicine pricing across various pharmacies
- Substitutes of unavailable medicines
- Saving order history and the option to repeat orders
- Order tracking
- Secured wallet system and multiple payment modes
- Automated prescription refilling reminders based on the previously uploaded prescription data
- In-app chat for real-time interaction with a certified pharmacist
- Chat options for addressing consumer concerns
- Multi-lingual capabilities
- Voice commands
- AI-powered personalized recommendations
- Consumer Loyalty Programs (points for each purchase that can be redeemed)
- User management & pharmacy management
- Order tracking & management
- Tracking received orders and incomplete/ongoing deliveries
- Managing Returns & Refunds
- Report generation in a few clicks
- Order verification
- Managing inventories & earnings
- Real-time notification on stocks – low inventory levels & drug expiry dates
- Performance tracking analytics & reports
- Customized Campaigns
- Consumer profiles integrated with EHR to get data on a patient’s past treatment history
- Aggregation with pathology & imaging labs displaying pricing information
- Number Masking to protect users’ identities (Only the admin & delivery agents have user information)
- CRMs for tapping prospects
- Vendor profiles with delivery histories
- Status of medicine availability along with timelines
- Push notifications related to order requests
- Management of order requests
- Real-time insights regarding medicine delivery drivers
- On-demand report generation on orders, sales, & daily transactions
Driver (Delivery Personnel) App
- Driver profile with the necessary details
- Tracking of location
- Information on delivery & order status
- Google Map integration to optimize routes
- Instant Notifications for completed deliveries & new order requests
Pharmacy App: Advantages
Online pharmacy app users enjoy better accessibility to medicine delivery services and an elevated customer experience. An app allows consumers to order medicines and other related products from any store regardless of their location. Consumers can search for the desired medicines or medical equipment easily and quickly and that too from the comfort of their homes. Advanced search filters make the search activity more precise and save users time and effort. Users can get their prescriptions verified by licensed pharmacists. So, they can be assured that they are taking the correct medication and the right dosage, ruling out any chances of grave errors.
Users can compare the medicine prices and choose from multiple pharmacies. Some online pharmacy applications even allow consumers to schedule the order delivery at their convenient timings. For instance, one can set delivery hour preferences like post 5 PM or opt for weekend delivery. This benefits consumers with busy schedules. Real-time tracking enables customers stay informed about the delivery status of their orders. The customer support feature helps users resolve their queries and concerns in real time.
Reminders for taking medication and prescription refills before the stock of their current medication is over, are an added advantage for individuals using a pharmacy app. Moreover, online pharmacy apps adhere to security protocols. Hence, consumers’ data is safe and their purchases are kept private.
Also, patients get detailed information on a specific medicine and its side effects. Some pharmacy solutions offer add-ons like online healthcare consultations and booking of emergency services like ambulances. These services are real deal-breakers for several consumers.
An online pharmacy app brings a lot to the table for pharmacy stores. Some examples are speedy medicine deliveries, 24X7 customer support, secure packaging, discounted offers on medicines, and crucial medicine-related reminders. As such, pharmacy stores leveraging apps can effortlessly gain customer loyalty. Also, you’ll be able to move your pharmacy business beyond the confines of your brick & mortar store and maximize customer outreach.
An app helps pharmacy owners to provide amazing customer experiences just as the consumers are looking for. This applies to not just medicine delivery but also other related services like medical tests, virtual doctor consultations, and many more. Modern-day pharmacy app developers are implementing more such disruptive features that add immense value to a pharmacy solution’s usability. The outcome is happy customers.
Pharmacy apps are quite effective in creating new avenues of revenue generation and boosting sales of pharmacy stores as well as pharmacy delivery aggregators.
Key Steps to develop an online Pharmacy App
Define the Scope & Functionalities
Determine what purpose your pharmacy app will serve and which functionalities it will offer. Include a combination of generic and advanced features. Also, include USPs.
Pick the correct combination of Platform and Programming Languages
There are a wide variety of platforms and programming languages to choose from. You need to pick the right combination that fits into your existing skills and use case requirements. For example, choose the programming language Java for the Android platform and pick Swift if you are targeting iOS. If you plan to go for cross-platform development (android & iOS), React Native will be an apt choice.
Design the UI
Create the UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) design. While creating the design keep in mind that the UI should be clean and user-friendly. Make an intuitive design that is easy to use.
Develop the Backend of the App
The pharmacy app’s backend will communicate with servers and handle crucial tasks like data storage and processing. Develop the app’s backend to be reliable, scalable, and secure.
Integrate the necessary APIs
An online pharmacy app requires integration with certain external healthcare systems and devices for certain functions. So, integrate the necessary APIs so that your application can communicate with other services & systems like EHR (Electronic Health Records), drug databases, pharmacy management systems, etc. Integration with external healthcare systems will allow your app to offer additional features and data to end customers.
Test, Launch, & Maintain your App
Thoroughly test your pharmacy app to identify bugs and check whether the features are working as expected. For this, you can employ automated testing tools or hire a QA specialist for carrying out manual testing. I would recommend a combination of both- manual and automated testing – to achieve the best results.
Once you are satisfied with the app’s usability and sure that all the features are working as desired, it’s time to deploy your app. Launch your app in relevant stores like the Apple App Store and Google Play.
After your online pharmacy app goes live, maintain your app. Fix bugs and resolve issues at the earliest. Also, update your application with the latest features and security patches.
Developing an online pharmacy app can be challenging. It requires a combination of software development skills, interface design capabilities, and knowledge of pharmacy delivery operations. You also need to know about the ongoing trends and most wanted functionalities consumers look for in a pharmacy app.
But, if you plan the product development lifestyle carefully, follow the best practices, and comply with mandated regulations like HIPAA; you can create a valuable solution. So, select the right Software development service for executing your project.