- Supermarket pharmacies are among the best for customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2019 U.S. Pharmacy study. Wegmans ranked highest overall, with a customer satisfaction score of 915.
- Publix ranked second among grocery store pharmacies with a score of 897, with Winn-Dixie following close behind (896). Within the mass-merchandiser category, Sam’s Club ranked first with a score of 890, Costco at second (879) and Target's CVS locations third with a score of 869.
- The study surveyed 12,059 pharmacy customers who filled a prescription in a three-month period earlier this year. The survey asked respondents about pharmacies' prescription ordering services, cost competitiveness, pharmacy staff, pickup, delivery and the overall store.
As grocers look for new ways to keep customers coming into stores, the solution may lie in their pharmacy's performance — a sector many grocers already operate in their stores.
"Customers enjoy visiting their brick-and-mortar pharmacy, and they get a great deal of satisfaction from speaking directly with pharmacists," said Greg Truex, managing director of health intelligence at J.D. Power, in a statement. "However, the potential for technology disruption is there. Although the frequency of use of digital solutions is low, early adopters are showing high levels of satisfaction."
The study found that while face-to-face interaction with a pharmacist remains the primary manner of communication for 89% of customers, those who use email or online chat to communicate are highly satisfied. Additionally, just 20% of pharmacy customers have used a mobile app to interact with their pharmacy, but they report higher levels of satisfaction than other customers. Grocers should note that they'll be better able to satisfy shoppers if they can engage through both brick-and-mortar and digital channels.
Pharmacies in grocery stores have continued grow and the department is increasing its dollar share, according to recent research. The Drug Channels' 2018 Economic Report on U.S. Pharmacies and Pharmacy Benefits Managers found that prescriptions filled by supermarket pharmacies increased 0.9% in 2017, Drug Store News reported.
Larger grocery chains are expanding their pharmacy operations as smaller grocery banners struggle to keep up with pharmacy costs. Last year, Kroger bought pharmacy records from 42 shuttered Shopko pharmacies, while United Natural Foods owned Shoppers Food and Pharmacy began to shut down its pharmacies in April and Minnesota-based Lunds & Byerlys announced plans to close all 14 of its pharmacies last month.
With consumers increasingly turn to their grocery stores for health and well-being solutions, grocers have the opportunity to increase their role in their customers' lives. In addition to enhancing and expanding pharmacy services, grocery stores are adding food as medicine initiatives, in-store dietitians, diabetes testing, vaccines, nutritionists and more.