McCabes Pharmacy

An online and in-store provider of healthcare services and products

About McCabes Pharmacy

McCabes Pharmacy is an independent, family-owned pharmacy provider based in Ireland, operating 28 pharmacies. Founded in 1981, it has grown to become one of Ireland’s most loved providers of prescription medicines and health and beauty products. The business is dedicated to offering an exceptional service to the communities they serve. They have over 300 staff – a wonderful team of Pharmacists, Healthcare practitioners, and Retail experts who genuinely love their work and care about the people they serve. They are passionate about providing a comprehensive, personalized, consultative approach to their customers in-store, which is central to the company’s philosophy of ‘our family looking after yours’ at the core of the business.

We have seen sales increases and increased engagement on related products across all Connect guided selling journeys with exceptional conversion rates of between 17-28%.

Sean Gleeson,

Head of Online - McCabes Pharmacy

We partnered with Conversity to help achieve our vision to be Ireland’s first Digital Pharmacy. They have helped us build a truly world class ecommerce experience.

Sean Gleeson,

Head of Online - McCabes Pharmacy

The challenge: replicate the personalized service in-store

With increasing numbers of customers shopping online, the company wanted their core values to encompass all aspects of its service offering, including aiding customers in navigating the complex process of buying products online. McCabes Pharmacy’s digital vision was crafted; to be Ireland’s No.1 Online Pharmacy, and to provide the same helpful customer experience online as what is delivered in-store.

McCabes Pharmacy began with overhauling its e-commerce capabilities; improving the company website, SEO and adding appropriate categorization to assist customers when browsing.

However, there was still more that McCabes Pharmacy wanted to do so that it could better replicate the quality of the in-store experience. They decided to partner with global online optimization experts, Conversity to help achieve the vision to be Ireland’s first Digital Pharmacy. With Conversity they have built a truly world class and award-winning ecommerce experience through Conversity’s dynamic personalization and recommendation engine solution, Connect.

When McCabes Pharmacy customers shop in-store for products, they often need a helping hand. However, the nature of e-commerce means it is much more difficult to recreate this experience online. The browsing and buying journey can be highly complex due to the diversity of products on offer. The aim was to make this much more straightforward for customers.

The solution

Connect from Conversity delivers optimization and personalization based on customers’ needs, effectively replicating the in-store experience of talking with and getting advice from a sales advisor online.

Because skincare regimes are tailored to each customer’s specific personal needs, this was the first product category to be addressed, starting with the La Roche-Posay™ Skincare Advisor. Conversity worked to gain an understanding of the shopper mindsets and needs of McCabes’ skincare customers.

Once these mindsets had been established, Conversity worked on enriching customer data, applying dynamic search, recommendation, and segmentation logic to the Intelligent Guided Selling tool; Connect.

Hosted on the website, the Skincare Advisor bridged the gap between in-store and online personalization, replicating the McCabes store experience and allowing them to better understand customers’ online behavior through meaningful, actionable insight and data. The online advisor also has had a ‘halo’ effect on the website, with skincare customers showing increased engagement with other product categories of the e-commerce offering. The solution drove a 18X increase in La Roche-Posay (LRP) skincare sales, much higher than the standard web conversion. Due to the phenomenal success of the initial journey, further skincare journeys were developed and deployed for additional premium brands such as Lancôme, Clarins, Bioderma, Seavite.

The Covid pandemic saw more customers than ever gravitating online to shop, and this accelerated the importance of offering tailored health expertise and advice for individual needs. Aligned with their Digital Vision; McCabes Pharmacy expanded the Connect solution to even more categories.

Now boasting 12 live journeys across skin care, vitamins, cold & flu, allergies, sexual health, indigestion, pain relief, and smoking cessation, results have been exceptional. Conversity worked directly with McCabes and also collaborated with brands such as Bioderma, Nicorette, and Reckitt Benckiser. Connect is built into the fabric of the website with a ‘Help Me Choose’ pop out button on all site pages that routes to a dedicated Help Me Choose landing page, Help Me Choose links on the drop down Mega Menu and product pages.

The results

The McCabe’s Connect solutions deliver a compelling user experience for online pharmacy customers. It is unique and innovative in Irish retail, and a mindset shift in how customers are viewed and serviced online, driven forward by a customer focused, digital first, and entrepreneurial spirit. This was validated and recognized by Retail Excellence Ireland (REI) who awarded them Digital Campaign of the Year 2021 for the innovation on their e-commerce platform. They specifically applauded their use of the Conversity SaaS solution to enhance the customer experience and to replicate the in-store experience online.

The solution has had a “halo effect” – increasing customers returning to the site based on the extremely positive experience that they had in finding the right product and purchasing with confidence.

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Business and customer impact – results

Conversity is an award-winning ecommerce agency

Next steps

We are extremely proud of the progress we are making, we continue to not only provide exceptional service online by increasing the number of guided personal journeys, but are actively challenging ourselves to improve them through further optimization and truly make it an omnichannel campaign and experience.” says Sean. “This technology is perfect for cross channel use and promotion. We have completed a major state-of-the-art refit of our Citywest store. This includes a robot for dispensing prescriptions, and part of the refit is a new Cosmetic Active (La Roche Posay, Vicy, Cerave) section, where we have a new touch screen displaying the La Roch Posay Help Me Choose journey for customers to use. Guided selling is a primary element of our personalization strategy; online and in-store, it really delivers for brands looking to deliver tailored customer experiences.

We would not have received the Retail Excellence award if not for the innovation, creativity and responsiveness of the Conversity team. They have been a pivotal partner in our Digital First Strategy.

Sean Gleeson,

Head of Online - McCabes Pharmacy