NEW YORK Drugstore.com’s recent foray within the last year into being the “intel inside” of two fairly large healthcare companies’ e-tailing sites is shaping up to be a pretty significant revenue driver going forward.
It’s also a potential opportunity for companies with a stake in healthcare to outsource OTC e-tailing capability and functionality through a company with a successful heritage in online retailing that already boasts such venerable companies as Medco or Rite Aid as clients. Rite Aid’s Drugstore.com-driven site went live late last year and Medco’s OTC store went live June 1.
Beyond that, as a pureplay online retailer, companies like Drugstore.com and Amazon.com, along with brick-and-click retailers like Walgreens.com and CVS.com, have successfully created a true national reach online, reinforced by Drugstore.com’s rising star in the sale of OTCs (none of the other companies regularly release OTC-specific online sales results).
And instead of distribution being measured by the tens of thousands of retail doors, it’s measured by Internet portals in the millions. These companies with their collective online reach have created a new paradigm for new-to-market companies with potentially-hot-but-not-yet-proven products. It doesn’t require near the inventory commitment as does feeding a 6,000-store supply chain and reaching that consumer (or healthcare professional if you’re striving for that influencer recommendation) through online advertising is both less expensive as compared to traditional print, radio or television placements and yields richer demographic data as to who the actual targets are.