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3 Benefits of Home Delivery (and How to Get Started)

General Practice

A cat poses in front of a shopping cart

Customers shopping for their beloved animals can experience the ease of purchasing daily pet supplies and essentials, including food or medicine, with the tap of a button and within the comfort of their own home.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many have resorted to online shopping to avoid the added stress of social distancing in a physical environment or worry about whether others are adhering to health regulations and guidelines.

Boosting customer satisfaction by offering convenience wherever possible is important, particularly in today’s world, in an added effort to keep communities safe. By offering home delivery, more than 80% of NVA’s GP hospitals have opened their own online pharmacies and received resounding positive reinforcement from pet parents.

The importance of home delivery practices are designed to increase the likelihood of making informed decisions and purchases. It allows customers to avoid lines, easily buy in bulk, reduce gas and parking costs, all with the added benefit of browsing for products on their own schedule while saving time, money and overall angst of shopping in-store.

How It Works

Home delivery is a direct way to conveniently ship prescribed dietary necessities, preventatives and pharmaceuticals to clients. Staff can place orders for individuals or customers can purchase products themselves, right from your clinic’s web-based pharmacy. Once the order is placed, goods ship directly to the client’s home from the vendor’s warehouse and all product catalogues are customizable to best fit your clinic’s needs.

Why Home Delivery?

Based on NVA’s longitudinal study of approximately 50K clients, monitored over the course of six months, to observe their behavior before and after using hospitals’ online pharmacies, we noticed three major advantages to home delivery:

1. Exponential increases in refill compliance for chronic medications and diets because of automatic shipments, which takes the pressure off the client to remember to place a new order each month. The ultimate result is a healthier, happier pet.

2. Growth in revenue. Hospitals that utilized home delivery had 2-5% higher growth in preventatives. We found that clients also spent more on services due to seeing a smaller in-clinic bill, averaging a gross margin dollar growth of 22% per patient.

3. Levels the playing field with Chewy or Walmart. These heavy-hitters draw clients away from the vet channel, leaving hospitals with lots of prescription approvals to sign but none of the profit. By opening a home delivery service straight from the vet’s office, your hospital can recapture the revenue that’s walking out the door.

Offering delivery directly to your client’s front door is a crystalline way to continue supporting pharmacies who might otherwise be at an even greater disadvantage during the pandemic, while allowing pet parents to further adhere to public health officials and heed their advice on staying safe and healthy by staying home.

As e-commerce continues to surge in popularity, this practice is a testament to how modern technology can help clients ultimately feel in control of their purchasing power, also allowing customers to continue building trust with their pharmacies and veterinary professionals.

With NVA at the forefront of resources and support in our community, we encourage our hospital partners, who are in need of added guidance or expertise on how to get started or continue navigating the world of web-based business, to connect with our teams and bridge the gap while making the transition online a breeze. As always, NVA supports our veterinary professionals and we are here to inform, engage and support you during these ever-changing times while discussing how a home delivery service would benefit your practice and those you serve now and in the future.