3 reasons why pharmacies should implement mobile text and payment solutions to retain senior customers

Communicating with senior customers is crucial to establishing trust and ensuring they feel comfortable when making a transaction, and those seniors are texting more than you might think. In fact, more than three-quarters (77%) of U.S. adults ages 50 and up owned a smartphone as of mid-2019, a figure representing a 10% rise from 70% a couple of years earlier. Seniors are just as capable on smartphones as their millennial counterparts who are swiping and tapping to shop, and ages 45-64 are also the fastest growing demographic when it comes to mobile.

As the senior population increases each year, the need for items from their local pharmacy follows suit and 93% of older adults live within five miles of a pharmacy. Today’s pharmacies have been forced to modernize their patient engagement strategies – and that means integrating text payment and two-way messaging solutions. These are ways senior citizens can pay for what they need at the pharmacy safely as well as having an open line of communication for refilling prescriptions, asking questions and more.

These are three reasons pharmacies should implement contactless payments and communications via text message to embrace their senior customer base:

  1. Text messages have widely become the preferred method of contact, and that’s rapidly becoming the case for touchless payments. 9 in 10 U.S. adults over 50 use their smartphone daily and 83% of them are sending texts and emails. Adding features that allow seniors to communicate with the businesses they have a relationship with or to quickly pay by text message means another layer of customer loyalty and satisfaction.
  2. It’s fast, they can view it when they want, and most importantly how they want. Many seniors enjoy the personalized function of magnified fonts for text on their phones. This makes it easier for them to read and comprehend at their leisure while also providing that sense of security. Increased accessibility, security, and technology has made texting one of the most effective ways to reach American seniors.
  3. They embrace new technology. A full 58% of adults ages 65 and older say technology has a positive impact on society.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when communicating by text with seniors:

  • Limit usage of “LOL,” “OMG” and other abbreviations – they can come off as unprofessional
  • Use proper grammar to establish trust and credibility
  • Avoid multiple punctuation marks like “!!!”
  • Leave out the emojis – these are best left to personal messages
  • As always, ensure you have their permission first

The majority (62%) of adults 70+ own a smartphone and in addition to sending and receiving messages they’re visiting websites, getting news, and accessing social networks. Seniors are one of the top demographics to visit a pharmacy and they’re on their phones just like other generations – so reaching them by text message is simple and effective while meeting a pharmacy’s bottom-line.

Photo: yongyuan, Getty Images

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