Online Pharmacy in India is emerging new to our eCommerce industry. As India follows strict policies in selling medicines online.
That’s because you can purchase some medicines with prescriptions only.
Moreover, brick-and-mortar pharmacies are against online pharmacies for various reasons.
They fear that booming online pharmacies will drain the revenue of brick-and-mortar stores, known as ‘Chemists’ in India.
The profitability of Online Pharmacy in India
The profitability of online pharmacies is always a debatable topic in India.
The Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) – Food & Drug Administration puts price restrictions on every medicine sold.
You can’t charge more than the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) printed back of the strip, bottle or packing either online or in a physical medical store.
The online pharmacy has to offer to pick up and deliver the medicines. Few Pharmacy stores also provide automatic medicine refills with prescriptions.
The major benefit of online pharmacy is attractive discounts and offers that no physical stores can offer for medicines.
This is because people wait for delivery about 2-3 days, generally, sick customers won’t wait for such a long time.
Types of Online Pharmacy Stores in India
There are five types of online pharmacies in India. Because of pricing policies in our country.
- Online Pharmacies for Generics
- Online Pharmacies for General
- Online Ayurveda Pharmacies
- Nutritional Supplements Pharmacies
- Online Apothecaries
How to Start an Online Medical Store in India?
Hire a qualified pharmacist with a professional license for your online pharmacy, this is the first step.
He/she should have minimum qualifications such as Diploma in Pharmacy D. Pharm or Bachelor or Pharmaceuticals or Master of Pharmaceuticals.
A doctor with a license is also eligible to run an online medical store.
Furthermore, in the application form for an online pharmacy license, It’s mandatory to note the licensed Pharmacist or Doctor’s name.
As they will hold the authority for the medicine you sell in online pharmacy. If you don’t hold relevant degrees such as a Pharmacist or Doctor, hire one full-time employee which is great.
Apply for FDA & FSSAI Licenses
The next step to start an online pharmacy is to get your licenses.
The two main authorities to get your license are the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and another is the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Without a license, you can’t start a legal online pharmacy in India.
In some cases, the Pharmacist or Doctor will have a written exam and interview to get an online pharmacy license.
Every state in India has different license requirements, FDA and FSSAI belong to the Central government.
Licenses from Local Authorities
Medicines stores in India usually depend on consumers and various categories.
The rules and regulations require prescriptions to sell medicines.
However, only certain medicines require a prescription and it’s not needed for some medicines.
Medicines that require prescription includes, For example, sleeping pills, cough syrups, psychiatry medicines, or addictive drugs require prescriptions.
You definitely need a loyal authorities license to send these types of medicines.
This authority includes state and local bodies such as (municipalities, village panchayats, or district administrations).
These licenses generally come under the Shops & Establishments Act, trading licenses, warehousing licenses, Goods & Service Tax Identification Number (GSTIN).
Tie-Up with Local Pharmacies
Most of the time, online pharmacies won’t have brick-and-mortar warehouses.
As you can’t say which medicine will be in demand and to deal with this situation it’s ideal to tie up with local chemist stores to increase sales.
You can also get tie-ups with pharmaceutical companies, healthcare professionals, and medical distributors.
This is an important step to start an online pharmacy at a cheap price.
When you tie-up with the local pharmacy, you need to spend on prescription pick-up and medicine delivery charges.
If you do everything right, you can get a fair amount of share points. Therefore, tie up with companies and medical distributors if you are starting from scratch.
Arrangements with Couriers
You can’t miss out on this step, you need to partner with courier companies to manage to pick up and deliver medicines.
You have to invest an extra cost, as it requires two services (pickup and shipping).
The courier services must be able to deliver orders on the right schedule.
As medicines are important and unavailability of certain medicines can be endangered to people.
For example, a diabetic or blood pressure or cardiac patient needs daily medication and they can’t skip dosages.
Website & App
To start your online pharmacy in India, it’s essential to have a website and mobile app.
This helps people to order medicine from you in two ways.
Over 70% of online buyers in India are using smartphones and other mobile devices.
Therefore, it’s essential to have a successful app for your online pharmacy.
You must also have an excellent eCommerce website to sell your medicines online.
The website will have online chat features, where customers will enquire about the medicines availability and order the products in the comfort of home.
You need to follow government rules for setting a new Pharmacy website and an app generally.
Therefore, get done with these policy procedures before you set up your online store.
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Online pharmacies don’t need any number of staff. Customers will upload a prescription or scans on the website or app.
This prescription will be intimated to the nearest pharmacy in the customer location immediately.
You can easily use these features with customers Postal Index Code or PIN while placing the order.
At Zuan Technologies, we have software to send orders directly to the nearest pharmacy of your customers and this will make your work simple.
The local pharmacy will direct it to the courier company and process the order for customers.
Sometimes, the delivery authority can collect prescriptions of original copies from the customers depending on the medicine’s nature.
Do Digital Marketing
And finally, the fun and interesting part of online business is promoting to your customers.
Digital marketing is inseparable from creating brand awareness and reaching customers in a short time.
Online pharmacy is still emerging in Pan India, so you have great opportunities to operate now.
If the Indian government gives relaxation for medicine sale rules and regulations, then the number will increase exponentially.
Hence, it’s ideal to start now without any further delay.
Digital marketing helps online pharmacies to get customers around every part of India.
However, you need export licenses to send medicines outside of India and it’s possible nowadays.
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Before I conclude, you can’t miss out on any and you need to follow all these steps to start an online pharmacy in India.
Our advice is to avoid shops that have huge competition and they may not process your delivery correctly.
So your customers will not buy medicines and start leaving from your online pharmacy.
You can tie up with a doctor or hospital to get more customer base easily and if you need further details feel free to talk with our team.
However, Zuan Technologies can help you to start a successful Online pharmacy in India.
For more information, visit Zuan Technologies.