The pace may slow down, but the expansion of the online market of the Italian pharmacy does not stop, which in February grew by 63% in turnover and 55% in packs sold compared to the same month of 2020. And on the mobile year - that is the 12 months that always end in February - marks an increase of 71% in terms of values and 84,8% in volumes. The data comes from Iqvia and was presented by Francesco Cavone, director of Consumer health offering & operations of the international company, in the webinar that Pharmacy Scanner and Retail Hub proposed last Wednesday, March 24, to talk about omnichannel in pharmacies.
ONLINE MARKET, DOUBLE-DIGIT GROWTH CONTINUES
The online pharmacy market, according to the numbers of Iqvia, is worth just under 400 million euros in Italy but shows a strong dynamism: in 2019 only 1,4% participated in the European e-commerce of the consumer healthcare sector. in 2020 the market share grew to 4%. We are still a long way from Germany, which accounts for 18% of the European market (about 13 billion euros), but in 2020 the German country grew by just 15%. «By now» is Cavone's comment «online is in the consumer's DNA: forced home by the lockdown, he understood that e-commerce allows him to buy in comfort, without going out, and now he considers it an alternative channel or complementary to traditional pharmacy ".
E-COMMERCE CONSUMER HEALTHCARE, THE SITUATION IN THE EU
In addition to dynamism, the other characteristic of the Italian online pharmacy market is polarization: even if more than a thousand pharmacies and neighborhood businesses have obtained authorization for the online sale of the OTC drug, 90% of distance selling is concentrated in no more than 150 points of sale; the same goes for consumption: 60% is concentrated in the OTC basket, that is, over-the-counter drugs and supplements; 33% concerns personal care (hygiene and beauty) while patient care (devices and parafamaco) and nutrition generate only 5 and 3% of sales respectively.
ONLINE, THE DOUBLE POLARIZATION OF BAKERY
But the polarization also concerns the individual baskets: in the OTC, the first five categories by market share (out of a total of 18) absorb 67% of purchases (always in values); in hygiene and beauty the top 5 (out of twenty) cover 91%, in parapharmaceuticals 63%, in nutrition 93%. «Analysis and consumer interviews» Cavone observes in this regard «say that the first factor in online loyalty - at least the one that convinces you to make your first remote purchase - is the price. After this first phase, however, the customer remains faithful to a site for the services that it offers and that allow him to buy safely: a 24-hour toll-free number that helps him in case of problems, assistance in choosing the product, simplified management of returns, are all important elements for those who buy online ».
Privacy can also have its relevance: "For products such as slimming products, incontinence items and other references," confirms Cavone, "the possibility of buying remotely while remaining hidden can represent a plus for many consumers". It is another argument in favor of a pharmacy that oversees with the same attention online and offline to offer its customers the sales route they prefer from time to time.
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