Perrigo, a leading provider of medicines and healthcare products, has recently released findings from a new study into the profile and motivations of the healthcare shopper.


The findings will, the company claims, unlock potential growth for the total category. The research was undertaken to help retailers align their business objectives with the needs and mindsets of their customers and help them target the appropriate patient to achieve differentiation and, ultimately, growth.

The study covered 90% of the healthcare category, covering 21 categories within scope. It looked across multiple retail channels, including pharmacy, to understand the comparative strengths of each area and the role these channels play in the mind of the patient.

Across the healthcare category the research revealed a set of shopper mindsets that pulled apart on two dimensions. Firstly, this is in terms of the level to which the decision is rational (or functional) versus emotional. Secondly, the shopper mindsets vary in terms of the immediacy of the need, and whether the consumer was buying for use now, or for use later.

Pharmacy shoppers are more likely to be buying for immediate use and to treat a severe problem, falling into what Perrigo terms the ‘emotional now’ category. For the pharmacy shopper, price is less important than obtaining a solution for their immediate problem.

Gaining a shortcut to trust is extremely important for the ‘emotional now’ mindset. This is shown through the increasing importance of recommendation from a member of pharmacy staff or friends or family and the rise in branded purchases. Brand can offer a proxy for efficacy in this situation with a less rational thought process in selecting a product to solve their problem.

Dan Williams, director of commercial strategy and implementation at Perrigo tells us; “Healthcare is a category that is more relevant than ever; with a growing, ageing population, more people are likely to seek ways to look after themselves via OTC instead of the secondary care. The research provides fresh insight for pharmacists and pharmacy managers on making their proposition even more relevant to the customers, to ensure they leave delighted.”

“These findings are certainly in line with what we see at Warman-Freed, our own Learning Pharmacy,” Joanna Mills, Learning Pharmacy lead, comments. “Our EPOS data shows a higher proportion of branded sales versus other channels and customers regularly seek the advice of our pharmacist when they are in need for an immediate solution. In tandem, having a range of P-Med solutions enables us to offer something more specialist than the supermarket next door, which is important to help us survive on the high street and better fulfil our customers’ needs.”

The research was undertaken in partnership with independent research partner Ink Market Research.

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