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Feb 3, 2021 | 3 minute read

Empowering Pharmacies to Create Differentiated Digital Experiences with Composable Commerce

written by Hannah Jarrett

The compounding effects of rising consumer expectations and the onset of Covid-19 have increased the pressure on businesses to weave digital throughout their corporate strategy. For pharmacies, now more than ever, patient-centric, digitally-enabled healthcare is critical to the continued improvement of outcomes and lives. In 2021, amidst the global pandemic, most pharmacies are looking to enhance the final mile of treatment and medicine distribution through the use of digital technology. With many people locked down at home, this use of digital technology to expand reach to serve patients wherever they are is crucial. 

Core to the digitization of treatments and medicine distribution is a digital commerce solution that can: 

  1. Capitalize on the existing operational excellence of the pharmacy
  2. Liberate the pharmacy to create patient-centric experiences free from constraint
  3. Integrate perfectly with any existing front end experiences already created
  4. Integrate with existing backend systems of record
  5. Support a consistent end-user omnichannel experience through a secured eHealth & eCommerce web platform & a dedicated Mobile App

These needs of modern, digitally-driven pharmacies demand a flexible approach to supporting commerce. Composable Commerce, a business-centric approach that leverages a modular architecture and an open ecosystem to rapidly design and deploy commerce experiences provides the openness and ease to support the unique needs of pharmacies.  Elastic Path partner, ELCA, one of the biggest independent Swiss IT services providers, leveraged our Composable Commerce-as-a-Service offering to build a solution that supported these unique needs for a major Swiss Pharmacy Association.  

ELCA worked with Elastic Path and the customer to create, Abilis, a secure digital health platform operated by the Swiss Pharmacy Association which centralizes all the data relating to the health of an individual. Each pharmacy manages its own stock, promotions, orders and prices, combined with a subset of the products from a master catalog. Chantal Junod, Chief Information Officer at that Swiss Pharmacy Association shared, "We choose Elastic Path because we will potentially have 900 Webshops for our Pharmacy and we were looking for an eCommerce solution that is flexible and able to manage an important number of webshops integrated into our E-health platform."

This solution has created the ability for pharmacies to centralize the provision of access to healthcare products and medicines throughout Switzerland while maintaining local pharmacy level control of pricing, offers and patient data.  By working with a digital commerce platform that leverages a Composable Commerce approach, like Elastic Path, ELCA freed the front end experience designers, from the constraints of most commerce platforms, so they could ensure the patient is always at the center of the experience across the point of sale, web portal, and mobile app channels.  This flexibility is particularly important when a front end experience already exists, and you need to be able to seamlessly augment the backend commerce capability through the existing portal your clients feel comfortable with.

In addition to user experience, the sheer scale and complexity of product information, price variations, and pharmacy level promotions meant that Elastic Path was the only solution able to scale ensuring the customer experience was best in class under a load of 100s of millions of price points.  But, it wasn't just the customer experience that was prioritized in this project.  The whole solution was implemented in order to facilitate and optimize the operation workload of pharmacists.  A key outcome was the positive impact on the daily life of the pharmacists with the addition of a new solution. 

With Composable Commerce and so many opportunities to improve operational overheads to support B2C and B2B commerce, Elastic Path and ELCA are committed to helping more of the world's top pharmacies infuse digital throughout their strategies so that they can serve more patients.