Can retailers get Americans to trust in-store clinics?
Forty-seven percent of Americans surveyed are not confident in the level of medical care they would receive from a retail in-store clinic, according to a new study.
A new report, “Healthcare Ecosystem 2021: Retail’s Role in the Future of Care,” from the digital engagement platform UPshow, is based on surveys of 500 consumers and 250 retail healthcare executives across the U.S. The study found that the relative level of trust in in-store clinics varied depending on where consumers lived. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed who live in cities “completely trust” the care they receive at in-store clinics compared to 52 percent of those located in rural areas and 48 percent in suburbs. A smaller issue is that 11 percent of those surveyed weren’t aware that retail clinics accept major insurance.
Retailers do have reasons for optimism when it comes to in-store clinics: 49 percent of consumers prefer to use them instead of standalone facilities as a result of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Sixty percent of retail executives participating in the survey said that they have seen an increase in spending per clinic visit since the pandemic first hit the U.S.
The report also points to opportunities for retailers with clinics to further engage patients (AKA customers) during their store visits. Only 21 percent of retailers are leveraging their marketing communications to encourage repeat visits and fewer than one-in-three try to guide those seeking treatment in clinics to make additional purchases while they are in the store.
With plenty of challenges and opportunities ahead, major retailers continue to push forward with plans to open more in-store clinics. Walgreens announced on Wednesday that it plans to open 40 doctor-staffed in-store clinics by next summer. The openings are part of an expansion announced by the pharmacy giant in July that it involves investing $1 billion over the next five years to open up to 700 clinics with VillageMD in more than 30 different markets around the U.S.
Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer, Walgreens Boots Alliance, called the retailer’s partnership with VillageMD part of “the most comprehensive and large-scale roll out of physician-led primary care services co-located in a retail pharmacy.” He said the need for the two companies’ patient care teams “has never been more critical” when it comes to providing “convenient access to high-quality, affordable care” in local communities.
- New Data Reveals Opportunities for Retailers to Redefine the Future of Healthcare – UPshow/PRWeb
- Walgreens and VillageMD to Open the Next 40 Full-Service Primary Care Clinics – Walgreens Boots Alliance
- Will doctors prove a cure-all for Walgreens competitive ills? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What can retailers with in-store clinics do to build trust in their medical service offerings? Should retailers be promoting medical services to consumers with the same frequency and in the same manner that they promote the rest of their business?