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E-Pharmacy players fall short on customer expectations in digital experience: Ipsos E-Pharmacy Digital Audit

The study was a mystery shopping study conducted among top e-pharmacy players to measure end-to-end journey, including major touch points.

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The Digital Audit of E-Pharmacy companies done by Ipsos, a global market research company reveals, E-Pharmacy Players are not meeting customer expectations on some of the key parameters of SOPs, brand promise and delivery, in the altered contactless online buying (and ordering of medicines), during the pandemic.

The mystery shopping audit of E-Pharmacies reveals, 4 in 10 consumers (42%) said COVID19 compliance was not followed (wearing of masks, gloves, maintained social distancing and if they felt overall safety measures were followed); 4 in 10 consumers (40%) mentioned, customer feedback was not taken (shoppers were asked if they were contacted to give post product delivery feedback. We also checked if they were contacted way too much for same); 1 in 3 (33%) rated e-pharmacy companies low in delivery experience (shoppers were asked if they got communication on when the medicines be delivered, and if the products were delivered as per communicated timelines); and 1 in 4 (25%) online medicine buyers, found the packaging protocols lacking (we checked if medicines were properly sealed, any damages and if contents were same as ordered).   

Sonul Verdia, Country Service Line Leader, Ipsos Customer Experience said, “The Ipsos audit shows disconnect between customer expectation and delivery by E-pharmacies. In the new normal, e-pharmacies should be delivering 100% on systems, processes, platforms and delivery partners should have synchroneity. So half-baked, tardy responsiveness and lack of adherence to safety can cheese off the customers. In these competitive times, esp. when the customer is strapped for time and finicky, pharmacies have to pay more attention to their expectations.”

The study was a mystery shopping study conducted among top e-pharmacy players to measure end-to-end journey, including major touch points.

“E-pharmacies have been on a growth trajectory in India for the last few years. During ongoing pandemic situation, most players have seen increase in demand, as pandemic has forced customers to recognize online mode as a safer, faster, and cheaper mode than physical stores. Which makes it imperative for E-Pharmacy giants to provide impeccable delivery in the digital experience. We looked at the finer nuances of platform experience, purchase experience, checkout experience and customer communication, delivery experience and COVID19 compliance, packaging, post-delivery customer feedback,” added Verdia.

Monica Gangwani, Country Service Line Leader, Ipsos Healthcare, India, said, “COVID 19 has given a boost to E-pharmacies as people have not been comfortable going out. Online pharmacies have come to their rescue.  But online pharmacies need to do more of brand building, and work around how to improve their interface and customer interaction. Today it is a bit commoditized. They also need to create differentiations; right now they all look the same. 

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