Let’s accept it. Until the pharmacy owners faced the venomously destructive coronavirus they couldn’t resist their traditional brick and mortar stores to do the selling.
We also couldn’t agree more, Covid-19 has not only left digital business as an option but made it rather a compulsion.
With the stricter regulations imposed by the government worldwide and the rising panic amidst the consumers, an online medicine delivery app solution has come as a rescue to combat the infectious crisis.
As the majority of consumers have shifted online to buying medicines to prevent getting themselves exposed to virus, reliance on epharmacies has increased more than ever. Giving an unprecedented mileage to the on-demand medicine delivery app market.
Here are some mind-boggling stats and trends of the online medicine market:
- The global pharmaceutical drug delivery market is expected to reach $1.7 trillion by 2023 at a CAGR of 6.4%.
- Post pandemic, the demand for overall medicines category has gone up by almost 100%, as mentioned by the founder of PharmEasy.
- Many online medical stores which have been struggling to take off in a big way for over three years mainly due to regulatory issues have seen a record surge in sales amid the Covid-19 crisis.
- E-pharmacies are expected to grow 7 times to $3.7 billion by 2022.
The Covid-19 crisis has presented an opportunity for pharmacy owners to monetize and run with the trend. Here in this post we will discuss the below mentioned topics that will help you discover how can you start and thrive with online medicine delivery startup in your early stages.
Topics on Focus:
- Different Models to Start An Online Pharmacy App
- Understanding the four crucial user roles of online medicine delivery app with their feature stack:
- Customer App
- Pharmacy App
- Admin Panel (Web)
- Courier Delivery App
Business Models of Medicine Delivery App
Single-Store Model: If you are a single pharmacy store owner you can sell drugs through a single integrated platform.
Aggregator Model: In this model, you can create an online pharmacy marketplace by aggregating several pharmaceutical stores in locality and allow them to sell drugs under your mobile application.
Customer-Oriented Model: This model allows you to establish a direct connection with the customer and eliminate the need for middlemen in the transaction.
Four Basic User Roles of a Medicine Delivery App
While you move forward with online medicine delivery app development, depending on the business model you choose, we suggest you go for the development of four user roles: Customer, Pharmacist, Courier delivery and Admin with each of these roles having detailed list of the feature stack. Let’s cover it one by one.
Customer App Features
- Registration and Login: Customers should be able to register in the app through mobile number, email id and social channels.
- Upload Prescription: Customers can take the photo of their prescription and upload it.
- Search Medicines: Customers should be able to search for medicines easily through filters like categories, names, brands, etc.
- Drug Details: For an informed purchase, customers should be able to check the details or descriptions of drugs, manufacturer and compare prices.
- Find Substitute: The app should enable customers to find alternative generic drugs by named brand composition.
- Add to Cart: Customers should be able to put the selected medicines or health equipment in the cart.
- Place Order: Customers should be able to place the order from the product page as well as from the cart page.
- Track Order: Customers should be able to track the status of the order dispatched through a tracking id.
- Make Payments: Allow customers to make secured online payments through cards, net banking or wallet.
- Push Notification: This feature will help you to send notifications to customers taking offers, deals, promos, etc.
Pharmacy App Features
- Easy Onboarding: Quick, easy account set up for pharmacies.
- Manage Products: The pharmacy owner should be able to update and manage the product details like drug description, expiry date, and essential medication instructions.
- Product Listings: Pharmacists can add, upload and feature product images, cost and category.
- Digital Prescriptions: The pharmacist should be able to review digitized prescriptions uploaded by the customer.
- Manage Prices: For meeting dynamic marketing strategies, pharmacists should be able to easily change medicine prices.
- Order History: This feature allows pharmacists to access the entire order history in past, date and month wise.
- Manage Payments: Pharmacists can keep the check and track all payment details in real-time.
- Ratings and Reviews: Pharmacy staff can manage the ratings and reviews given by the users.
Admin Panel Features
- Dashboard: Admin can check, manage and view all the ongoing orders, active pharmacists, customers, delivery boys and total earnings on a single web view.
- Manage Orders: Admin should be able to manage all ongoing orders, check tracking status.
- Manage Pharmacists: Admin can manage (add, remove, update) all pharmacists.
- Manage Customers: Admin can manage customers, broadcast messages, and send notifications.
- Inventory Management: This is an advanced feature that enables admin to manage inventory and get notified when products are going out of stock, nearing expiry dates, etc.
- Reporting and Analytics: Admin can check all the operational data and statistics to create interactive reports and take further marketing actions.
In-house Courier Features
- Manage Profile: Courier companies can upload their personal business information, license id.
- Set Availability: Delivery staff can set the current status of their package delivery progress (like package dispatched, on the way, delivered).
- Real-time Notification: When an order is placed the courier company should receive a notification.
- Track Delivery Route: Courier delivery boys should be able to use GPS to check the best delivery routes.
- Call/Message Customers: Delivery boy can send message or call customers for coordinating delivery.
The Revenue Model
Now let’s understand how online medicine delivery apps can help pharmacies earn money online.
1. By Commissions
The most trusted avenue to generate revenue from an online pharmacy app (aggregator model) is earning from a percentage of commission that is charged to each pharmacy partner listed in the app. The percentage can be set by keeping in view the current market scenario. So, every time a customer makes a purchase or the pharmacy partner makes a sale, you will get the percentage.
2. By Advertisement
In-app advertisements is another way through which online pharmacy apps make money. This is one of the major sources of revenue. You can offer advertising to pharmacies at additional cost to feature them on top of customer searches to attract more customers. You can also allow them to place their offers, deals, and discounts to gain more customers.
3. By Delivery Charges
Most pharmacies do not have their own delivery team. By employing your delivery team to deliver packages to customers, you can add one more channel to earn money. Delivery fees can be a percentage of the order price or a flat fee depending on the distance.
4. By Surging Prices in Peak Hours
A pharmacy app can make extra cash by surging the delivery charges in events like same day delivery, peak hours, pandemic crisis, or disasters, like we have seen a big spike in price during COVID-19.
How Much Does It Cost to Develop an Online Medicine Delivery App?
Once you decide on the type of business model you want to work upon, you can decide the features you want to integrate. Each feature stack and technologies chosen has a different cost involved. Furthermore, the total cost to develop also depends on the hourly rates the app development company charges.
So all in all, the factors responsible to create a mobile app from scratch are:
- Hourly rates of the app development company
- No. of platforms (iOS, Android)
- List of features and functionalities
- UI/UX design
- Backend integration and testing
- App maintenance
A Ballpark Figure
According to our estimation and developing similar kinds of online medicine delivery apps with customized features the total cost for an on-demand medicine delivery app development may land to $25,000-$40,000 and can go as high as $40,000-$70,000.