Day#334: Introducing digital products into the pharmacy space

Day#334: Introducing digital products into the pharmacy space

Hey everyone today is a lovely overcast day, and it’s nice and cool with a slight breeze. As I have said before, I generally write these in advance so its actually running the end of December for me, but I post in advance. I was recently at Clicks a well known pharmacy in South Africa, and went to the dispensary section. I have noticed Clicks get smaller and smaller, as a child I only recalled Clicks being an option for pharmacy related products. However now Dischem has really taken over that market Dischem is far better in it’s offerings from general pharmacy products to self care and detergents Dischem now stocks everything. In this scenario though I was actually closer to a Clicks and decided to use them for whatever I needed at the time. I went in and went straight to the back, something I always notice with the pharmacies. It allows for the rest of the customers to walk through the structured isles without being interrupted. There after I saw a self service kiosk, the kiosk was simply for dispensing a ticket to be in line for service from the pharmacists. 

I used the kiosk and noticed it had a really nice added feature of calling my number in line on the speaker, and that I could continue my shopping till then. However when I noted it to my friend accompanying me she indicated that it was not the best choice because when you were far down in the other isles you would not even hear it because there were different speakers playing music on that side. The speaker calling out peoples numbers was only in the close vicinity to the dispensary side. What a silly mistake, and I can imagine it would cause a lot of confusion, I have also gone to the pharmacy on occasions really feeling terrible. The prospect of not hearing my number and having to wait even longer for the medication that I needed would really infuriate me. The self service kiosk did have another method of communication though it allowed for the customer to enter their cell phone number and then be smsed when it was their turn in the que. This was a much better solution, however it would be interesting to note who even looks at smses these days. I actually had a situation where a family member SMSed me and I had no idea until I saw them and they asked me about it haha! It does change the scenario but the user being aware that this will be a form of communication that will be used so I am sure it will be fine, but in the era of WhatsApp not sure why they can’t just use WhatsApp for communication?

Lastly I wanted to mention something else that I noticed, and that was after people had taken their little slip with their number in line. Everyone congregated around the kiosk. Nobody proceeded to sitting in the seating area for the dispensary, I wondered why other people didn’t know it. Funnily enough at first I noticed myself doing it as well, I stood waiting, but also by then the walkway to seating area was partially blocked by all the people standing. Eventually an employee came past and exclaimed in a loud voice for everyone to hear, that they could all sit in the area near the dispensary and they would be called when it was their turn. I think about the purpose of this, it was so that people could go about their shopping, and save time. A great idea but not accomplished if you used one of the two methods of communication provided. I think about the people waiting around the kiosk confused and unsure of what to do next, perhaps if the kiosk has been more explicit in instructions people would be sitting. Each task leads to the next one and has an effect on the user’s mood, the user may have not been forced to sit in that scenario but because they were standing there would be slightly more annoyed by the time they get to the counter. We are stumbling before we are learning to walk in the process of digitizing a lot of our daily actions, I am always excited to see advancements in tech space and wonder how we will integrate technology on higher levels as time passes. Until next time, happy researching

Bye for now

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