Online delivery has become a new trend. Today’s millennials want to save as much time as possible and hence avoid wasting their time to go out to supermarkets, grocery shops, chemists, etc. and prefer to buy things online where the items get delivered right at their doorstep. Medicines are no longer an exception. Especially in the COVID-19 pandemic in which the people were abstaining to reach hospitals or medical counters for buying medicines and preferred to buy medicines online. Thus, Pharmacy apps are gaining a lot of importance. These have revolutionized the practice of buying medicines. One such popular app is 1mg. It is one of the most popular apps for delivering medicines in India and the working model is almost the same as any other on-demand delivery app. In this article, we will know how to develop a similar online medicine delivery app. But first, let’s know some interesting stats:
In the whole world, the coronavirus outbreak has provided a turbocharge for the expansion of digital health services. For e.g.:
- CureFit: Founded in 2016 with the aim to make fitness fun and easy, CureFit has raised about $400 million from Accel, IDG Ventures, Kalaari Capital, Temasek, and others. Its valuation is around $750 million.
- Practo: Founded in 2008 to help people locate doctors and for healthcare information, Practo has raised $200 million from investors including Sequoia Capital and Tencent. Its current valuation is around $620 million.
- Medlife: Launched in 2014 as an online pharmacy, diagnostics, and e-consultation platform, Medlife has raised nearly $90 million in equity and debt. The valuation of Medlife has been estimated at $450 million.
- PharmEasy: PharmEasy was founded in 2014 as a pharmacy app. Its investors include Bessemer Venture Partners, Orios Venture Partners, and Temasek. Its valuation is nearly $350 million.
- 1mg: Launched in 2015, the online consumer health platform has raised about $132 million from Sequoia Capital, Kae Capital, IFC, and others. Its valuation is nearly $200 million.
The global pharmaceutical drug delivery market is projected to reach USD 1,694 billion by 2023 from USD 1,244 billion in 2018, at a CAGR of 6.4% during the forecast period.
Benefits of an app like 1mg for people
There are many benefits of online pharmacies or medicine delivery apps. If you are a customer you just have to make an order, and that’s it. The medicines will get delivered to your doorstep. You can even make the payment online, to ensure a contactless delivery. The other important benefits are:
In India, online pharmacy is a developing sector but with an appreciating rate. It simply means that the online pharmacy companies are providing exciting offers, discounts, and cashbacks. A part of it has to do with a reduced cost of maintenance on the company. Regardless of the business model, an online pharmacy saves money by maintaining infrastructure for offline pharmacies in the cities they function. Hence, it is easier for them to offer lucrative discounts or offers without incurring a loss.
In today’s time, online businesses are getting as they are easy to access due to the abundant availability of smart devices and the internet. E-pharmacies are no exception. Customer experience is highly focused. The customers can order medicines by just a few taps on their mobile screen. The other side of accessibility is empowerment. A lot of patients are dependent on others for their medicines but with an app, they can order medicines and be self-reliant.
Order History, Transaction History, and Policies
In an app, when you make an order, complete details of that order got saved and you can check it whenever required. Thus, all your medical history is saved at one place securely. You don’t have to baffle through papers to look for your prescription. Instead, you can just repeat your order.
This data would be also helpful for your doctors to look upon your disease.
The Indian Internet Pharmacy Association has given certain rights for self-regulation until the government announced a particular law to deal with online pharmacies. The IIPA conscientiously decided to have strict compliances in place, the most important of which is the authenticity of medicines. Thus, online pharmacies either manufacture their own medicine or get their supplies from trustworthy and established stockists.
An educated customer will be of keen interest in the e-pharmacy as it will imply that the customer is making an informed choice and is aware of drug interactions, must have his/her medical history, and can mitigate risks. This education would be helpful for the pharmacy apps as it can build trust between the online pharmacy and the customer.
Features to include in an E-Pharmacy App like 1mg
In a mobile application, features play the biggest role. They can curb the app or make it successful. Hence, you must include easy-to-use features for sure. You have to partner with local pharmacies and distribute medicines as per the customer requirements.
There would be different portals for 3 different entities. The entities are customers, medical store owners, and admin.
Features for Customers: User Panel
Login or Sign Up
The users should be able to register on the app through a very convenient app sign-up process. Don’t ask for unnecessary information from the users to make it a complicated process. Instead, just ask e-mail id & password or mobile no. with a password.
Search is the first point by which the users start interacting with your app. The app should be highly advanced so that the users don’t have to type the complete spelling of the medicine. Provide the voice search feature as well.
After selecting the search button, don’t make it empty. The customers should get suggestions of trending products which are mostly ordered by the users.
There are 30+ categories of medicines and many different subcategories too in the 1mg app. Users can get details of every medicine with its elaborate descriptions of dosage, and effects.
Filters & Catalogs
When you select the category of the medicine you need to order, then there would be many different filters for a better shopping experience such as:
- Uses etc.
The customer would also sort the product list through options such as Relevance, average customer rating, highest first or lowest first pricing, discount, etc.
With an E-Pharmacy app, you don’t need to go to a lab for making a test appointment. You can search for the tests you require and then make an appointment as per your preferred time. You can read the procedures, precautions, the test included, etc in each test package.
One of the best features of the 1mg app is that you can get a consultation from India’s best doctors for free. You just need to tap on “Start Consultation”. The other things would be carried out by a chatbot. It will ask a few questions for an easier diagnosis.
If the users are able to set reminders for their medicines then it would be very helpful for them. They will never forget their medicines or skip them.
Browse Health Products
Apart from medicines or drugs, users should be able to browse health & fitness products from popular brands. It can also include energy drinks, powders, grooming products, etc. 1mg provides exciting cashback offers and discounts on this category.
Many healthcare apps are also giving the option of uploading prescription for ordering medicines. It is helpful for the doctors as well as the patient to keep a proper medical history. The patient just needs to click a picture of the prescription and it will get uploaded instantly. So if the patient is not able to identify the name of the medicine from the prescription, they can just upload it and the pharmacists will help in reading the prescription and making an order of it.
Add to Cart Facility
This is a very required feature in every e-commerce app where the customer would be able to add a product into the cart to checkout later.
There must be a separate section on the app where the users can check out the availability of different offers. It can be offered from the pharmacy, payment wallets, specific brands, etc. Customers get notified about the offers on time.
Customers would be able to check their past orders, active orders, pending orders, etc. The detailed order summary will help them for re-ordering.
You can integrate any payment method so that the users can pay a joining fee or entry fee on the app. Some of the popular payment gateways are Paypal, Stripe, and Braintree.
In the 1mg app, there is a section of “emergency” where the users can immediately call an ambulance or conduct emergency calls in easy steps.
Refer & Earn
Generally, the Referral policy is one of the most popular strategies of acquiring new users on your app. There would be a unique referral link or code by which the users can refer their kith and kin on the app. Their friends & family will make orders on the app. Whenever the referred user will join the app using that link or code, they will get a reward or cash bonus.
After making an order, the customers will be able to track the status of their order easily.
Push Notifications would be very helpful for users. They will get all the updates, if a product or medicine is now in stock, new offers, order status, etc.
Reviews & Ratings
Customers can check reviews and ratings for accurate product information. They can also add reviews after buying medicines and give ratings on delivery.
Read more: Mobile App Practice: How to improve the health of your mobile application?
Medical Store app features: Medicinal Service Provider Panel
Medicinal service provider panels list those medicines which can’t be taken regularly but occasionally. It is highly important to take care of the users’ medication patterns.
Real-time connection with customers
The service providers should have to keep an eye on the patient’s health conditions. It would be a 24 x 7 patient support system for pharmacies, patients, and other entities.
Tracking medicine stocks
The medicine store owners should be able to track their inventory. Regular medicines have to check daily and must be in stock every time hence re-fills required. This is together managed by admins and medicinal service providers.
The admin panel login must be highly secure. Admin would be able to log in through a unique id and password combination, similar to the user login process.
The admin would be able to manage the activities of the user along with their accounts on the app. Also, the admin can even edit, add, delete, or even deactivate or activate user accounts.
Admin would have the responsibility of accurate product details, genuine medicines stock, no expired medicines or any other items.
Timely deliveries play a major role in the success of an on-demand delivery app. The admin should be able to manage product delivery as per the customer requirements.
Reviews & Rating check
The admin will also check reviews & ratings for a particular merchant and can identify customer queries through reviews and ratings.
The admin will update information about every product on the website. It will include product details, lab details, store details, etc.
The different payment modes on the app would be handled by the administrator at the backend.
CRM integration in the admin panel will give you many benefits such as managing operational tasks like tickets, user-location, sending e-mails, push notifications, etc.
Read more: Best Mobile Apps to Order Medicine in India
In this article, we have discussed how to develop an app like 1mg. Currently, the on-demand food delivery apps, on-demand grocery delivery apps, on-demand medicine delivery apps, etc. are high in demand by the customers. If you are planning to develop such an app then this is the right time. Please let us know your requirements.