registered app users after less than half a year
average age of registered app users
lead time from signed deal to app launch
QR codes were scanned in just half a year
Mag. Heike Klocker
Managing Director | Mariahilf Pharmacy Trofaiach
Digital services in the pharmacy sector
Our new hello again app has made a decisive contribution to positioning the brand as digitally innovative and increasing customer frequency and sales. In addition, we can continue to offer better and better digital service in the future!
An analog bonus system had already been implemented, but many customers were either unaware of it or did not actively use it. In addition, the existing bonus system did not allow for personal, individual customer communication, nor did it help with individual customer support on site.
Not least because of this, there was a desire to make this bonus system more efficient and easier to use for everyone involved.
The basic goal was therefore to create a digital solution that would allow customers to interact more efficiently with the pharmacy while taking full advantage of a well-designed rewards system.
Since there are special legal aspects for pharmacies to consider when using loyalty programs, the following legal situation had to be taken into account.
(Disclaimer: This information is not legally binding and is provided as a guide only)
Advertising for discounts is only permitted for items from the secondary product range (not medicines). General advertising for prescription medicines is prohibited.
Granting of discounts
The granting of discounts is generally permitted for all products (including prescription-only medicines), but not for the prescription fee when dispensing medicines on health insurance prescriptions.
Bonus point programs
Customers may collect bonus points with all sales, with the exception of prescription charges. Advertising claims that a discount or refund is granted on the purchase of medicines are prohibited.
Prescription charges may not be taken into account in the eligible sales, as no discounts may be granted for medicines on prescription.
Turnover for over-the-counter medicines or medicines prescribed by private prescription
These may be included in the calculation of bonus points.
Mariahilf Apotheke Trofaiach introduced its pioneering pharmacy app to achieve the goals mentioned at the beginning. The innovative app addresses several current challenges in a single digital solution and offers a wealth of functions to improve the customer experience.
The use of push notifications, which are fast, uncomplicated, targeted and well-tailored to the respective target group, proved particularly useful. This allows individual customer segments to be identified and provided with targeted, highly relevant information via push notifications - a significant advantage over traditional customer communication with high scatter loss.
The app has also made it easy and convenient for customers to collect their own in-app currency, known as Balance Tokens.Simply scanning the QR codes printed on the invoice is enough to add collected Balance Taler to their own customer account.
With an average user age of 51.9 years, it was possible to appeal to a younger and already digitally savvy target group as well as to actively involve older customers (70+). In this case, the average age of users shows that the 50+ generation is also happy to accept and use digital solutions.
The app also enabled pharmacy employees to communicate seasonal rewards and information directly to users - and therefore plays a key role in the marketing strategy. Seasonal rewards were previously often only communicated directly on site, but can now be viewed by interested parties at any time.
Due to the Cash Register Security Ordinance (RKSV; in German "Registrierkassensicherheitsverordnung"), the owner wanted to adapt the QR codes printed on the invoices in order to be on the safe side legally: In the past, the standard QR codes did not provide all the information required for the digital loyalty club in this case (meanwhile, most standard QR codes are sufficient for this use case).
By specifically adapting the printed codes to the needs of Mariahilf Apotheke Trofaiach, it was possible to make a precise distinction between the products and services eligible for rewards so that the legal framework (already explained above in the text) could be complied with. This was done simply and easily using modern POS software.
The pharmacy app's success story is impressive: around six months after the app was launched, over 2,000 users had already registered. The pharmacy's goal is to reach 3,000 registrations by December 31.
The app users are very satisfied and interest in the app remains high: 60% of registered users are active at least monthly, many of them more frequently, e.g. several times a week.
The introduction of the pharmacy app was probably the most significant step towards strengthening the "Mariahilf Apotheke Trofaiach" brand and improving customer loyalty.
The app is a beacon of the digitalization strategy in the healthcare sector and sets new standards - especially for smaller pharmacies in the digital era. It shows that it is possible and necessary to move with the times and use the advantages of digitalization to expand one's own customer base and improve interaction with customers.