Publication Date 01/07/2014         Volume. 6 No. 6   
Information to Pharmacists

Editorial

From the desk of the editor

Welcome to the July 2014 homepage edition of i2P (Information to Pharmacists) E-Magazine.
At the commencement of 2014 i2P focused on the need for the entire profession of pharmacy and its associated industry supports to undergo a renewal and regeneration.
We are now half-way through this year and it is quite apparent that pharmacy leaders do not yet have a cohesive and clear sense of direction.
Maybe the new initiative by Woolworths to deliver clinical service through young pharmacists and nurses may sharpen their focus.
If not, community pharmacy can look forward to losing a substantial and profitable market share of the clinical services market.
Who would you blame when that happens?
But I have to admit there is some effort, even though the results are but meagre.
In this edition of i2P we focus on the need for research about community pharmacy, the lack of activity from practicing pharmacists and when some research is delivered, a disconnect appears in its interpretation and implementation.

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Walmart Launches New Mobile Apps

Neil Johnston

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Neil Johnston is a pharmacist who trained as a management consultant. He was the first consultant to service the pharmacy profession and commenced practice as a full time consultant in 1972, specialising in community pharmacy management, pharmacy systems, preventive medicine and the marketing of professional services. He has owned, or part-owned a total of six pharmacies during his career, and for a decade spent time both as a clinical pharmacist and Chief Pharmacist in the public hospital system. He has been editor of i2P since 2000.

In time for the holidays, new Apps for iPad and iPhone developed by Walmart will give customers advanced shopping tools for use at home and on the go.
In Australia, Woolworths have launched a similar App with an extension for the Android market.
Walmart has a subsidiary company Walmart Labs that is dedicated to taking advantage of new innovations in IT and helping to develop or adapt them to a Walmart environment.
It is this type of infrastructure that creates the divide between small business and big business that is getting ever wider.
Wouldn't it be great if we had such a development wing in pharmacy that wasn't dominated by politics and truly represented innovation for the profession?
There's a lot of IT talent in pharmacy that is not being properly nurtured that also represents new job opportunities for pharmacists.

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Walmart has launched new applications for the iPhone and iPad designed to give its customers tools to plan their weekly shopping trips as well as a new way to access Walmart both in-store and online.
The new apps will enable millions of customers to enjoy an enhanced, seamless shopping experience across Walmart’s 3,800 U.S. stores and Walmart.com through mobile devices.
This development builds on Walmart’s commitment to technology innovation for the next generation of commerce.
The two free applications are the first of several mobile products to be rolled out from the recently formed @WalmartLabs group under Walmart’s Global eCommerce unit.
The iPhone application features new updates that include smart shopping lists with integrated access to manufacturers’ coupons and support for QR code scanning.
Walmart’s first-ever iPad application delivers a rich experience that allows customers to browse, search and purchase their favorite items online, as well as the ability to browse the inventory of their local store from the comfort of their home.

“Today, mobile allows us to have a similar personal relationship with our customers that Sam Walton had with his customers 50 years ago when he opened the first Walmart store,” said Gibu Thomas, Walmart’s senior vice president of mobile and digital. “We can greet each of our customers by name, guide them through our stores, and give them product recommendations and real-time savings — all from their mobile devices.”

Consumers are using mobile devices in greater numbers this year to enhance their shopping experience. According to a recent Nielsen report,* 50 percent of mobile phone users will have smartphones by the end of 2011, and the National Retail Federation** estimates that over 52 percent of smartphone users will use their devices for holiday shopping.

A comparable revolution is beginning to emerge in Australia, a few steps behind the US development.

Walmart’s new app created specifically for the iPad places more time and money-saving power into the hands of its customers. Key features include:

* Touch-optimized shopping:
Browse, search and purchase favorite items by combining traditional ways of shopping with the unique capabilities of the iPad.

* Browse My Store:
Select any local Walmart store to see product availability and detailed information specific to that store.

* Extended inventory:
Shop and purchase Walmart.com merchandise in addition to viewing local store inventory.

* Updated iPhone App — Smart Shopping Lists & QR Code Scanner
Walmart’s new updates to its iPhone app deliver one of the most comprehensive shopping apps in retail. Creating smart shopping lists, scanning QR codes and accessing product information has never been easier. Key features include:

+ Voice:
Add items to shopping list by speaking, typing or scanning bar codes.

+ Budgeting tools:
Calculate total price in real-time as specific items are added to mobile shopping lists.

+ Manufacturer’s coupons:
View applicable manufacturer coupons for products carried in local Walmart stores.

+ Product information:
Access product details, including customer ratings and reviews,

as well as local product availability and prices.

+ Sharing:
Email shopping list to friends and family.

+ Store Item Finder beta:
Display in-store aisle location of products in select stores across the country.

The iPad app is now available for free through Apple’s App Store in the Lifestyle category, and the updated iPhone app will be available soon. More information is available at www.walmart.com/mobile .

For interest, the recently launched Woolworths App is illustrated.
It is also being deployed currently and has hit the top of the chart as the most popular App download in Australia.
Given the close association between Woolworths and Walmart there has no doubt been some shared information in regard to this development.

Pharmacies who invest heavily in retail marketing will need to match this type of service. Certainly the franchised marketing groups will need to invest in this activity if they are going to keep their members competitive.

 

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