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Digital marketing for independent pharmacies: Getting started with Google Shopping

By Jordan Cupo

Google Shopping Ads are an easy win for pharmacies looking for new ways to attract customers

Today's consumers use a straight-line approach to finding the products they want at convenient locations. Highly refined search engine technology, readily available on their ever-present smartphones, often leads shoppers to their purchasing destination.

In fact, search results send an estimated 70% of consumers to a physical store. And it happens quickly: 88% of consumers using a mobile device to search for local businesses either call or visit the store in-person within 24 hours.

How did this happen? During the COVID-19 lockdown, homebound consumers shifted their collective mindset and ingrained shopping habits. In a suddenly digital-first marketplace, businesses immediately responded with innovative ways to connect with new customers online.

Pharmacies, often the cornerstone of community commerce, can benefit from this new wave of online activity. Online marketing for independent pharmacies will be key to making sustainable connections with shoppers looking for front-end products. As such, it makes sense to align with an industry leader, namely the Google Shopping Network, which generates responses to 1.2 billion monthly product searches.

Let's dive deeper into how independent pharmacies can promote their front-end products to reach more customers on Google's platforms.

Google Shopping makes its mark

In September 2022, Good Neighbor Pharmacy expanded its Google advertising program to include Google Shopping Ads, which pharmacies can use to attract more front-end shoppers. The new offering makes pharmacy inventory visible online when consumers search for products near them.

If you're wondering about the program's potential impact, consider that Google Shopping clicks are growing by nearly 18% each year. Additionally, U.S. searches for “near me in stock" have grown by more than 90% year over year, indicating that many customers begin their shopping journeys online and complete them in-store. Shopping Ads give customers confidence that they'll find the front-end product they're looking for in your pharmacy.

Real-world results

Independent pharmacies at the forefront of small business online marketing recognize its value in the ongoing battle to stay relevant against chain competitors. Richard Stryker, owner and pharmacist at Bayshore Pharmacy in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, reports that his store has uploaded nearly 4,000 products to Google Shopping using Pointy. Local ad campaigns leveraging the automated product feed have generated over 560,000 Google search impressions among potential customers, according to results reported on the pharmacy's LOCALACT dashboard.

“At least weekly, we have people who come in and say that they saw our ad on Google, and they want to get the [advertised] item," Stryker explains. “We also get calls from people outside of the area, where people are trying to get hard-to-find items. We never would have had that exposure otherwise."

Overall, data collected from Good Neighbor Pharmacy members since September 2022 show that Google Shopping Ads have outperformed other search campaigns for enrolled pharmacies month after month. Google Shopping delivers online ads to current and prospective customers in your local community through a highly effective, easy-to-implement process. Once you're up and running, you'll be able to directly track Shopping Ads campaigns and their influence on foot traffic.

How to get started with Google Shopping

To make your in-store products visible to shoppers in your area, you'll need a tool called Pointy, which is provided free of charge as part of the program from Good Neighbor Pharmacy. Pointy interfaces with your barcode scanner and point-of-sale system to keep your product information up to date on Google. By combining the power of Pointy and LOCALACT, generated ads build awareness and target customers in your area, steering increased foot traffic to your store. It's easy to get started. Good Neighbor Pharmacy members can enroll in the Google Shopping Ads program by activating Pointy and setting up a budget for Google advertising campaigns. If you already have Pointy – congratulations! – you have completed the first step. Your advertising manager can help recommend a budget that works for your pharmacy and your target audience. You will get hands-on support from your advertising manager each step of the way to get started and ensure that your campaigns are a success.

Learn more

Find out how you can promote your pharmacy's front-end products with Google Shopping Ads. Contact us today!

About The Author

Jordan Cupo
Digital and Web Media Manager
Good Neighbor Pharmacy
View Bio