In the increasingly crowded landscape of online shopping and home delivery, it’s no wonder veterinarians are feeling the squeeze on their bottom line.
Mega-retailers like Walmart® are expanding their services to offer pet pharmacies and in-store veterinary clinics—so it’s more important than ever to stay competitive by offering your clients the options they’re looking for.
A home delivery program allows your clients to receive quality medications, food, and health care products shipped right to their front doors.
Many practices think of home delivery programs in terms of profit and loss. But home delivery can do so much more beyond increasing revenue.
Home delivery equals more than just increased revenue
Having a home delivery program is crucial for helping to lower inventory costs and recoup revenue lost to online retailers who typically don’t have a history of working with veterinarians. But there are other benefits that are just as important to the health of your practice.
Let’s explore those benefits to get a better sense of what home delivery can do for your practice and your patients.
3 additional benefits of a home delivery program
1. Free up time, money, and space
Many practices who use home delivery have been able to recoup valuable physical space.
Without having to keep large inventories and back stock, there’s more space for exam rooms, specialized equipment, or other improvements. These enhancements can reduce waiting times, allow you to offer more services, and help your practice grow.
Managing your in-house inventory takes valuable staff time and money, too.
Inventory management can feel onerous, from monitoring stock levels to running inventory audits to tracking expiration dates. By limiting the products you carry in-house, you and your staff will have more time to focus on making clients feel understood, valued, and cared for.
2. Keep clients happy — and coming back
Why are warm feelings important to the health of your practice?
Because retaining existing clients is less costly and more efficient than gaining new clients.
People of all ages are increasingly more comfortable placing orders online, especially when they’re on the go. Offering home delivery shows them that you understand their busy lives and want to make caring for their pet convenient.
Make it easier for your clients to place orders and get regular automatic shipments of preventatives, chronic medications, and specialty diets.
3. Better compliance with treatment plans
Does this sound familiar?
Staff: “Looks like you purchased a six-pack of flea medication when you were here six months ago. Do you want to get that again today?”
Client: “I think I have a couple left so I’ll just get more later.”
You’re not alone. Compliance issues like this are a challenge in most practices.
With a home delivery program, your clients can have food and medications sent right to their door, increasing the chances of compliance. According to a 2015 study, pet owners who use home delivery purchase 140% more parasiticide doses than those who don’t use home delivery.
Bottom line for home delivery
Home delivery programs are key to improving client retention and treatment compliance while also increasing your practice’s profit.
By making it convenient for clients to order through your practice, you’re keeping that revenue in-house and gaining better visibility into whether clients are adhering to your recommendations.
Happier, healthier patients and clients means a happier, healthier practice.
Vice President of Marketing Asa Pogrelis has been with Vetsource since 2010. Drawing on his early experience working as a vet tech in suburban practice and emergency clinics, as well as his seven years in sales and marketing with Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Asa brings unique insight into effective sales and marketing strategies in the veterinary pharmacy, nutrition, and eCommerce fields.