Digital Signage in a Pharmacy

Although pharmacies are considered a very conservative business, many have been using screens to inform their customers since the 1990s. If the content was initially played out via VHS and later from DVD, the devices will be nowadays all networked.

One tip first: forget about using self-service terminals for customers. Apart from the hygiene aspect, which is particularly pressing in this sector: People come to pharmacies with an ailment to obtain medication and get advice. Interaction with another human being is a top priority.

PoS Apotheke
PoS Cash register system in a pharmacy

What is it about?

This article is about how pharmacies implement digital signage and what the benefits are. At the end, we'll show you which of our software solutions will help you and how.

Whether you manage one pharmacy or hundreds: Our applications offer you maximum flexibility.

Application Areas: Digital Signage Pharmacy

Pharmacies use digital signage solutions both: outdoors and indoors. Typical outdoor locations are in the shop window and at or next to the entrance door. Indoors, PoS systems at the checkout and larger monitors as information displays or in the viewing area are possible options.

Outdoor

Pharmacy storefronts provide customers with valuable information on current medical topics at any given time. In this way, the pharmacy uses its digital signage display window to advertise medication for colds, sunscreen for vacations, or reminds customers of vaccination appointments.

At the same time, they also display their opening and on-call times there.

Storefront Advertising

Another way to use storefront advertising digitally for your business is in the pharmaceutical industry. Use the devices as digital advertising space. Establish advertising partnerships with both industry and local businesses in related industries. Play their advertising clips and kill two birds with one stone.

Receive high-quality, thematically appropriate content from the pharmaceutical industry. This gives you the opportunity to refinance a significant part of the investment costs for larger digital signage installations.

Display Emergency Services

In Germany, out-of-hours pharmacies must post the addresses of at least two nearby pharmacies on duty on a prominently displayed emergency service calendar. What could be more obvious than using a fully automated emergency services screen? No one has to worry about changing signs or posters anymore.

Example Pharmacy Emergency Service
A Pharmacy Emergency Service we developed for a German client in about 2014.

The display updates itself automatically and shows a map with the respective locations. Via QR code, the user calls up the location in Google Maps and gets the route displayed. The emergency service display receives its data via the interface to the Aponet service. The user only has to enter his location.

Such an emergency service in itself provides the pharmacy with a tangible added value. Searchers are also pleased to receive a straightforward display without having to deal with possibly cryptic legends of complex emergency service calendars.

Of course, it is also possible to integrate advertising and additional information into the emergency service display.

Indoor

Of course, the same possibilities exist for digital signage in the inner area of a pharmacy as in storefront advertising. Operate efficient in-store marketing with spontaneous offers, current news, organic weather and entertaining health tips. The customer in the queue is happy about good infotainment that shortens his perceived waiting time.

There are also additional opportunities with digital signage technology to do the business process more efficient and modern.

Information Display

Upgrade the pharmacy's digital PoS systems with small 10-inch screens at the checkout. There, the customer will not only see the final price, but also the respective medications and additional information about the application.

Electronic Price Tags

Since there is a price labeling requirement for pharmacies, why not use electronic price labels on the OTC products of the free choice. So-called e-paper displays consume hardly any power. By networking with the ERP system, even spontaneous promotions can be implemented promptly. Your employees do not have to exchange anything awkwardly and can take better care of the customers.

Digital Racks Behind the Counter

Replacing the visible shelves behind the counter with large touch displays also offers numerous advantages. In our view, this lies not only in the ability to change the design of the virtual racks at any time, but also in the connectivity, the interfaces and the resulting possible automation.

A simple touch gesture on the medication and the picking machine searches out the corresponding product from the inventory and brings it up into the sales floor. At the same time, the screen signals the request to the ERP and books it into the POS system.

We consider the opportunity to connect digitized components as fundamentally important. In the 20s of this century, playing videos is no longer rocket science. Especially not in the background of the often mentioned “digital transformation”.

A digital signage system must fit into existing or future digital workflows. To do this, it needs open and free interfaces. You or the advertising agency create a flyer and transfer it to your screens with the push of a button. This works just as well with even short-term offers from merchandise management.

Smart Retail

We mention this only in passing: As a retail company, technologies from the Smart Retail area naturally also make sense for pharmacies. For example, augmented reality for warehousing and logistics.

Conclusion

The competitive and cost pressure on pharmacies has been increasing for years. Digital signage opens up new opportunities to counteract this.

How do Pharmacies use Digital Signage?

Pharmacies use digital signage solutions to implement open display behind the counter, fully automated emergency services, and other useful customer information. They also integrate the software with other digital processes such as marketing or merchandise management. Additionally, there is also the possibility to combine it with smart retail techniques.

What Advantages does Digital Signage offer to Pharmacies?

Networked pharmacy signage expands digital structures, increases efficiency, improves service quality and relieves employees. They can now attend to customers more intensively. Furthermore, there is the possibility of refinancing by selling out advertising space. Spontaneous offers increase sales in the OTC sector.

Our Offer for Pharmacies

In addition to the hardware, you need three connected software components:

  1. You control your pharmacy digital signage via a so-called device and content management software.
  2. The screens use a networking digital signage player.
  3. We realize visual racks and pharmacy emergency service via so-called widgets.

Content and Device Management

With the SmilControl-CMS, you plan and create high-quality content based on individually pre-built templates. We are committed to open interfaces and transparency. This ensures that you can create a spontaneous offer about it automatically and add it to your playlist. Of course, as also works manually within minutes with our template editor.

Digital Signage Player

The player software makes sure your screens get regular content. Our open-source player runs with Android, Windows, Linux, and macOS. So, there are no limits in the choice of media player hardware with which you run your public displays.

Our player software also splits the screen into multiple zones. So, there is nothing to stop you if you want to integrate advertising presentations into your emergency service display.

Even power failures cannot harm digital signage players. They are designed to start up again and continue, by default.

Widgets for Emergency Services, Virtual Racks and More

With Digital Signage Widgets, you have endless possibilities for your custom added value. They can be used to implement emergency services, weather, news, virtual racks and even complex interactive applications.

The beauty of it: regardless of what you implement with it. You schedule a widget like a video or image media in a playlist.

Short Hardware Guide

You can use both: commercial PCs or low-cost Android players with our software. Depending on what kind of performance your concept needs. As a rule, devices with Android are perfectly enough for most use cases.

For the emergency service screen, a so-called 10 inch (25.4 centimeters) signboard is enough. Signboards are special industrial tablet. You can also find this under the name all-in-one device. If you already have a signage totem, you can also slide it into the shop window after hours.

There are several ways to network your on-site hardware with the CMS. Via the LAN or WLAN of the pharmacies themselves, or they deliver your hardware with integrated LTE modem. If you use 4G mobile communications, you do not need to intervene in the local network. However, the player is then directly on the Internet and no longer behind a NAT router. In that case, we need to take additional measures to secure it.

Would you like more information? We will be happy to suggest specialized hardware partners to you.


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SmilControl GmbH
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D-30419 Hanover

Germany

☎ +49 (0) 511 - 96 499 560

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Nikolaos Sagiadinos