The brave new world of health care

BY Rob Eder

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — This is the beginning of the brave new world of health care — POST-reform. Because regardless of the direction health reform takes — whether it’s ObamaCare, RomneyCare or the Man-in-the-Moon-Care, there seems to be universal agreement that something needs to be done to improve access and affordability to care.

(THE NEWS: CVS Caremark’s Brennan named to National Commission on Physician Payment Reform. For the full story, click here.)

That will mean a fundamental realignment of the incentives that drive the system. And there is a wide-scale belief that that will mean the end of fee-for-service reimbursement modeling to be replaced by a compensation system that is driven by patient outcomes.

It is believed that this shift will occur first among physicians and hospitals, and then eventually will impact all other stakeholders, including community pharmacy. What are you doing to prepare your company to compete in that new environment?


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Shopping health and beauty online

BY Rob Eder

In the first DSN/C2B Mobile Insights report, we examine what consumers think about shopping for health and beauty online vs. brick-and-mortar retailers. Overall, nearly 8-of-10 consumers bought health-and-beauty-aid items online in the past year. Did they leave your store to buy? Did they use their smartphones to make a purchase and use YOUR STORE as a “showroom” for ANOTHER RETAILER’S website?

1) Have you purchased a health or beauty product online in the past year?

2) If yes, where did you make this/these purchases?

Other responses included: Bath & Body Works, Blackmilk Clothing, Cabella’s, Clinique, Vitamin Shoppe, Natural Remedies, Sephora and Bestbuy.

3) In comparison to shopping at an actual retail store, how would rate your online purchasing experience on a scale of 1-10?

4) In your own words, what are the pros and cons about shopping for health and beauty online?

• Easy checkout.
• Less hassle.
• Easy to find products.
• Better prices
• Ease of delivery and saves time.
• No need to drive to the store — saving time and money on gas.
• Easier to compare prices all in one place, and make sure I get the best deal.
• You can read reviews and product descriptions.
• I find that I get a larger size product for same price or less online vs. the store.
• They package it very well at Amazon!
• You run more of a chance of your product being in stock online.
• …If it’s a rather "sensitive" product, no embarrassment or feelings of
"everyone’s watching me.”
• …Find rare products that are harder to find.
• It’s cheaper, but you have to watch to make sure you aren’t buying trial
• Can buy anytime.
• Not having to deal with annoying sales people.
• Multiple responses: “No cons.”
• Shipping and handling isn’t always dependable.
• Returns can be a hassle.
• Online charges can be in error.
• Reaching customer service isn’t always a good experience.
• Not being able to actually see/try/test product.
• Waiting for delivery.
• Inability to see color exactly (for makeup shades, for example, which is
huge issue).
• Sometimes when the items arrive, it’s disappointing to see what they actually look like.
• The only thing that matters to me is that, from a store you get the product right away.
• I haven’t had a bad issue yet, other than a leaky product
• Shopping experience is not comparable to an actual nice store, like Sephora or Macy’s Estee Lauder with a person to help you.
• Prices are usually better in store, and I always have coupons to use.
• Usually you can only use one coupon per purchase, as opposed to a store where you can usually stack different coupons for one item.
• Shipping costs!
• You cannot feel the texture or formula of the product either.
• Less selection.
• Misleading on-line product photos — certain elements hidden or very
• Not able to get the advice you would get shopping at a store.
• Cannot test products out before purchase.
• All online purchases seem to include the risk that your data will be shared or somehow leaked to merchants/companies who want to sell you something or worse. We need to constantly weigh the trust we experience in the merchant we are shopping with in to our decision to buy.
• Wait times — when I go to buy shampoo, it’s because I am out and need some right away.


5) Have you ever visited a retail store, solely to learn more about a product and then purchase the product online instead of at the retail store?

6) If yes to question 5, what did you purchase?

• Electronics • Cat Litter • Giovanni Smooth as Silk
• Hair color • Nioxin • Books and movies
• Bed Head • Shampoo • Makeup and brushes
• Tools • Conditioner • Revlon Photoready Concealer
• Toys • Hair spray • Cologne
• Perfume • Razors • Hair products
• Angel for men • Slap Chop  


7) If yes to question 5, did you purchase the product from home or via your smartphone while researching the product at the store?

8) If yes to question 5, when was the last time you did this?

9) If yes to question 5, what store were you in?

10) What online retailer have you used to purchase an item?

Other responses included:,,,,,,, and

Drug Store News has partnered with Engage.Me to develop the DSN/C2B Mobile Insights series as a regular feature and premium content offering for users. Interested in utilizing DSN/Engage.Me field research capabilities for exclusive research on your company? Contact Rob Eder at [email protected].

This survey was conducted from Feb. 6 to 19 by Engagement Media Technologies using the Gevius mobile application and EMTech backend. The campaign had 100 participants — 48 male and 52 female. The breakdown of participant age range is: 25 to 30 years old (35%), 31 to 35 years old (32%), 36 to 40 years old (5%), 41 to 45 years old (16%), 50 to 55 years old (4%), 56 to 60 years old (4%) and 61 to 65 years old (4%).


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A.HUDSON says:
Oct-10-2013 02:58 am

More and more online stores are opening up around the world to grab the share from customers’ wallet. One thing that has been overlooked by many online stores is the look and feel of their website. Having a right product or service to offer is not enough, the user interface, functionality and design of an ecommerce website also plays a crucial role in attracting and retaining a customer.

H.SMITH says:
Jun-03-2013 11:32 am

I also make most of my beauty products purchases online these days, it's a lot more comfortable and it saves me time and money. Still, I think maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a must if you really want to keep your beauty intact, just make sure to get enough sleep and eat healthy. Combine this with the best beauty products and you'll be more than fine for many years!



Reaching Hispanic consumers via mobile marketing

BY Moira Koch

From 2000 to 2010, the U.S. Hispanic population surged 43%, far surpassing U.S. Census estimates.  With a growth rate more than four times that of the entire country, and an expected 2015 purchasing power well in excess of $1.25 trillion, the U.S. Hispanic population is a key market segment for retailers and consumer packaged goods companies seeking to expand their domestic customer base. The most successful companies will be those that can effectively engage these consumers and develop enduring brand loyalty.  

In conducting research on effective mobile marketing strategies, we recognized an opportunity for marketers to focus on the Hispanic population. Studies on smartphone ownership in the United States help provide direction to companies seeking to enhance their marketing efforts with Hispanics.  Based on findings from the Pew Research Center, only 45% of Hispanics have a home broadband connection and, as a group, are more likely to get online via their mobile phones in place of a home broadband connection.  This higher rate of smartphone adoption presents a strong opportunity for retailers and CPG companies to implement mobile marketing strategies to more effectively reach this population.  


Study best practices:  The first step is to explore the experiences of both peer companies and those in other industries, such as cable TV, which have been successful in promoting services to the U.S. Hispanic population. This broader market perspective is an important input to the formulation of an effective mobile marketing strategy because it allows a company to benefit from the experiences of others by highlighting best practices and warning of potential pitfalls.

Develop relevant content. Consider partnerships:  Once a company has established a deeper understanding of what has and has not been effective in engaging Hispanic consumers, it can focus on developing content to support its mobile marketing strategy. To be relevant and interesting, a company must offer content that connects to the unique culture, background and interests of Hispanics. Retailers should consider partnering with CPG companies on joint promotion or merchandising efforts. Many manufacturers have successfully launched Hispanic-targeted marketing campaigns that could be leveraged in-aisle. For example, in early 2012 Clorox launched a Hispanic social media campaign to encourage germ prevention; retailers could provide QR codes in the cleaning supply aisle that link directly to Clorox’s online mobile content.  

Integrate Hispanic-focused content with current marketing efforts:  Maintaining parallel advertising efforts for each targeted consumer population may not be realistic or cost-effective, so companies must find ways to integrate their Hispanic-focused content into existing and planned branding activities without creating confusion for other consumers. P&G’s Head & Shoulders brand, for example, has had success in incorporating Hispanic-focused content into its other branding activities such as its “Hats Off Movement” campaign, which featured both Spanish and English content.

Make content accessible:  Language, often a common denominator in this diverse population, is an important consideration in driving accessibility. An effective approach to Hispanic marketing must go beyond a simple Spanish language shelf-talker in the ethnic foods aisle at the grocery store.  Efforts must include regularly updated Spanish-language versions of a company’s mobile content, as well as Spanish-language content related to the item being promoted or marketed. Images are likely to be more effective than text and can serve to overcome the language barrier when inclusion of Spanish text is not feasible.  

Moira Koch is a VP at Maia Strategy Group, where she leads consumer packaged goods engagements with an emphasis on retail insights. Prior to joining Maia Strategy Group, she was responsible for developing and launching Bluebeards Original, a premium line of Men’s beard care products sold in retail stores nationwide. Her latest whitepaper “How Mobile Technology is Changing the Retail Environment” is available here.



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