Front-End Strategies for Consumer Convenience


Beauty and household items topped the list of what customers want to buy in the pharmacy.

In March 2023, consulting firm McKinsey released a report1 highlighting the ways that pharmacies can meet consumer needs.

“Over the past 2 decades, the retail pharmacy landscape…has evolved substantially,” the authors wrote. “Retail pharmacies can work to ensure they understand and meet consumers’ needs so they are a preferred destination.” Results of a survey conducted by McKinsey showed that 70% to 80% of surveyed consumers are satisfied with their primary retail pharmacy. Among these consumers, 48% purchase OTC products from their preferred pharmacy, with expanding interest into making food and grocery purchases (36%), beauty purchases (32%), and household item purchases (30%) as well.

Although this news is positive, cementing the pharmacy’s role as a crucial destination for patients and other customers, independent pharmacies need to ensure their store’s front end is top-notch, in order to compete with larger retail chains that are known as shopping destinations.


A full-service grocery store might not be in the cards, but investing in refrigeration to stock with cold drinks can go a long way towards filling the grocery niche. Positioning the pharmacy as a convince store-like destination means that customers can also grab a cool drink on a hot summer day—whether or not they’re stopping in to pick up a prescription as well.


Dupes are having a moment. In influencer parlance, dupes are affordable makeup products that provide a similar look to products from more expensive brands. With influencers having a wider reach than ever before thanks to social media sites such as TikTok and Instagram, creating a small beauty counter with the top selling drugstore-brand makeup products can create instant profit.

Not sure what to sell? Search “drugstore dupes” on TikTok, or search for reporting from magazines like Allure, Glamour, and Elle; these brands regularly publish articles featuring the latest and greatest beauty dupes that pharmacists can stock on their shelves. Ready to level up your beauty counter? Consider partnering with a local dermatologist to stock their most recommended products from drugstore friendly brands like CeraVe—one of the most recommended brands by dermatologists—and La Roche Posay.

And don’t forget beauty tools: outside of cleanser and mascara, items like tweezers and nail clippers—small, easy to lose, and necessary to replace—can complete this section of the store and represent additional profit.

Household Items

Household items are another front-end moneymaker. From pens and scissors to lightbulbs and toilet paper, stocking a display full of these items creates additional convenience for pharmacy customers. Phone chargers, for both home and travel, can be another moneymaker—especially if your store is located in a popular travel destination.

  1. Ladsariya A, Noh G. Meeting changing consumer needs: The US retail pharmacy of the future. McKinsey & Company. March 17, 2023. Accessed June 21, 2023.
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