Lured by convenience and low prices, pet owners who once purchased prescriptions and other products in-clinic are logging on for what they believe is a better choice for them and their pets. Add in COVID-19 and the risks of in-person shopping, and the shift has only accelerated. Fortunately, most practices understand the need to stay competitive with big box stores and online retailers.
According to the Veterinary Hospital Managers Association (VHMA), 87% of practices say they have their own online pharmacy.
How can you tell which solution is right for your practice?
Not all online pharmacy vendors are created equal. Addison Animal Hospital, a two-vet practice in Lake City, Florida, signed up for a digital prescription and online pharmacy platform a couple of years ago. While they were promised revenue growth and better compliance, the practice found the new tools difficult to use, received little guidance from the vendor, and struggled to get pet owners on board.
Their online pharmacy simply wasn’t delivering on its promise. According to practice technician Heather Marczynski, CVA, “Clients had a hard time figuring out how to place an order, and I couldn’t even go into the backend to help them. It was all too complicated.”
I love the user-friendly ‘back office’ feel of the Covetrus Platform. Creating prescriptions is very easy, I have full visibility of clients’ orders, and the writeback to our PIMS is fantastic.
Seeking an easier-to-use solution, Addison Animal Hospital switched to the Covetrus prescription management platform
Marczynski immediately found the Covetrus Platform more user-friendly and multi-functional, from creating and approving prescriptions to tracking client orders. “The dashboard has more of a ‘back office’ aspect to it,” she says, “which gives me more visibility and control of order status if a client calls for information.”
For even greater visibility, Covetrus syncs with their practice information management system. “Writeback to our PIMS is fantastic,” Marczynski says. “It shows a script has been written, if the client has ordered, and when it shipped.” Their new online storefront, powered by Covetrus, has proven much easier for clients to navigate, leading to increased usage and clearly improved compliance with flea and tick preventatives.
With the Covetrus platform, online sales have gone from $100 to over $5,000 per month
The bottom line for Addison Animal Hospital is that online sales have grown exponentially. Between July 2019 and July 2020, that growth totals more than $40,000 in new practice revenue.
And the future is bright: the practice’s upward trend in online sales also indicates that more and more clients are using Autoship – delivering long-term compliance and valuable, recurring monthly revenue.
For Heather Marczynski and the team at Addison Animal Hospital, the Covetrus Prescription Management Platform provides a critical set of tools to recapture revenues from third-party retailers, so they can compete – and thrive – in the online marketplace.