Why Customers Prefer Independent Pharmacies Over Chain Stores

A point of sale system

When most Americans think of a pharmacy, they think of big chain stores like CVS or Walgreens, which are often preferred because they offer standard service across-the-board. However, many customers are beginning to realize that small and independent pharmacies provide even better services than big chains. So what makes independent pharmacies so special?

For starters, small pharmacies have the ability to closely monitor which products their customers want, rather than just stocking products because administrators for the national chain tell them to. Smaller businesses are often able to provide products which are specific to their customer base, both in terms of products themselves and the prices of products. Small pharmacies are more in control of their inventories than chain stores, which actually makes a huge difference to customers. There’s nothing better than when a customer goes into a store to look for a specific product, and upon realizing that the store does not supply the product, the manager offers to special-order the item.

And that sort of customer-employee interaction is exactly why many consumers choose to support small businesses. It makes a difference when the employees really want to help customers, rather than just make as much profit as possible. Especially when health concerns are involved, information shouldn’t be made available only because a name-brand company has the financial means to promote their product. Pharmacy employees in small pharmacies are more likely to provide personalized advice, and let customers know which product really is the best value and the most effective.

Something that has turned customers away from small businesses in the past is the lack of new technology — not because all small businesses refuse to use technology, but because the newest software is often too expensive for small businesses to afford. The good news is that technology has developed enough at this point to become available to all businesses, and even the smallest pharmacies can take advantage of things like mobile pharmacy POS systems. New POS systems designed specifically for pharmacies can help employees manage basic tasks, like product inventory and sales trends, so that employees can offer better customer service. Newer POS systems — whether mobile or not — tend to run faster and take up less space, making it easier to attend to every customer’s needs and to stock every inch of space with products that consumers really want. Although technology was once an enemy of small businesses, it’s clear that advanced POS software programs are no longer a primary worry of independent pharmacies; in fact, it may even help them become true competition for bigger chain stores. This is a great source for more: Pharmacy point of sale