Summer is upon us, folks. Of course, you’re probably already aware of this. After all, the 2022 summer season kicked off with an early heatwave in the U.S., and the National Weather Service is predicting yet another summer of record-breaking temperatures. Good times. Just about everyone in the country will be doing their best to keep cool in the sweltering heat for the next few months. Summer offers several sales opportunities for independent pharmacies that you should be ready to leverage. In this blog, we’ll look at some of the things you can do now to prepare your independent pharmacy for success with all the hot (pun intended) items this summer season and how to reach out to your customers about them.
This one is probably a no-brainer for you. With the blazing sun of summer comes the inevitable risk of sunburns and skin damage. This, of course, means it is crucial for people of all skin types to protect themselves with sunscreen or sunblock. Remember that customers tend to gravitate to brands they know for skin protection, so try to have recognizable brand name items displayed (Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Blue Lizard, etc.). Take advantage of this sales opportunity while ensuring your customers stay safe from the sun by stocking up on this essential summer item.
Aloe Vera/Sunburn Creams
Even if you sell sunscreen and sunblock, there are always going to be some people who forget to apply it (or don’t reapply it properly). When that happens, your customers will probably show up to the pharmacy lobster red, in pain, and looking for relief. Therefore, you should ensure you have some traditional treatments on hand, such as aloe vera gel/lotion, moisturizing creams, etc.
I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream. Right? Okay, let’s face it. Very few of us start screaming in the presence of ice cream (because that would be weird). However, it’s delicious and a staple of the hot summer months. If your independent pharmacy has a freezer display, this is the perfect time to stock up on ice cream and popsicles to help customers stay cool with this delicious and refreshing impulse buy.
With warmer weather, many people take advantage of the summer season to spend more time outdoors. Enjoying the great outdoors, of course, often means sharing space with any number of biting insects, from ants to mosquitos and ticks. Your customers will need plenty of insect repellants to keep the creepy crawlies and buzzing flies at bay. As with sunscreen, you’ll want to have recognizable brands available (OFF!, Repel, Cutter, etc.).
Bug Bite/Poison Ivy Treatments
Of course, sometimes insect repellant isn’t enough to keep all the itchy threats of nature at bay. Whether it’s fire ants, mosquito bites, or poison ivy, your customers will need something to treat the condition and offer some relief from the itching. You’ll need to have the right items on hand, such as calamine lotion, lidocaine sting relief wipes, bug bite relief pens, etc.
First Aid Kits
With all the activities of summer, accidents are bound to happen. When they do, customers will likely suffer a variety of scrapes, cuts, bruises, and sprains. Get them prepared to deal with the unexpected by stocking various first aid kits—from convenient pocket-sized ones to easily carry on a hike to fully stocked kits for extreme or sudden medical emergencies.
Body Cooling Items/Novelties
Aside from the abovementioned OTC items, customers will also be looking for novel ways to beat the heat. There is quite a selection of small, cost-effective, and novelty “body cooling” items on the market that you might consider adding to your inventory. Here is a handful of examples:
- Misting fans – These are the small fans attached to a misting spray bottle.
- Neck fans – These novelty items fit around the neck and blow air up and around the wearer’s head.
- Cooling towels – There are a number of these on the market. When immersed in cold water and worn around the neck, they use evaporation to cool the wearer.
- Cooling gel items – These contain a special gel that stays cool and come in any number of forms and sizes, from pads to bracelets and ones that can be worn around the neck.
Summer Marketing is Key
While it’s important to stock your shelves appropriately for summer, having these items in your inventory won’t do much good from a sales perspective if your customers don’t know about them. Therefore, marketing is key to ensuring you don’t get left with an abundance of overstock when the summer season ends. Here are just a few things you can do to make sure customers have eyes on these summer products:
- Email Campaign – Consider sending out an email campaign with a theme along the lines of “We have all the essentials for the best summer ever!” Use this email to draw attention to your summer-specific inventory.
- Social Media – Remember to post about offers for summer-specific items on your pharmacy’s various social media pages.
- Outdoor Signage/Marquee – Use your street-side signage or marquee to remind passersby that your store is stocked with summer items.
- In-Store Signage – Use brightly-colored signage to draw customers’ eyes to summer items once they are in the store.
Summer is here, folks. But it won’t be here for long. Ensure your pharmacy is stocked and ready to take full advantage of seasonal sales with these essential summer items and ensure you are marketing them properly. Until next time, stay cool out there.
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