Docs outweigh smart device research for Rx intel, but mobile is mecca for savvy shoppers

Smart device usage has become an active part of in-store shopping. According to a recent poll of Accent-Health smart device owners, nearly 3-out-of-5 have used their phone or tablet to aid in product selection while shopping in-store. However, consumers are more likely to research their next TV on their mobile device than their prescription medication. According to AccentHealth VP market research, Natalie Hill, "When it comes to medical treatment, healthcare professionals remain the most trusted source for information. Of those viewers using smart devices in-store, only 16% report doing so to investigate Rxs or OTCs." Consumers using mobile devices in-store are most often in search of savings, with the majority (91%) comparing prices online or at other stores while shopping.

As retailers strengthen mobile strategies, it is not surprising to find that half of consumers surveyed own a retailer app. Of those, more than three-quarters report having an app for a pharmacy or a mass merchandiser with pharmacy.

Mobile apps are doing much more than just displaying products for sale. While app features vary by retailer, 71% of respondents indicate they use their apps to receive discounts/coupons; store locator searches, shopping, and loyalty card/rewards access follow as the next most commonly used features. Given the investment retailers are making in app development and benefits to the purchasing process, it is not surprising that app usage is reported to increase in the future.

Among non-users of retailer apps, nearly half indicate they would be likely to download an app in the future. Among users, three-quarters report they are likely to increase their frequency of use or use new features. Cost-savings seekers will continue to fuel app usage; however, significant interest in less commonly used tools — such as live expert chatting, barcode scanning and Rx management — are expected to contribute to growth in app use.

Patient Views is a consumer insights feature that appears in every edition of DSN magazine, as well as in the daily e-newsletter DSN A.M.

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