Launched in 2008 to sell health and beauty products, in 2009 the Belgian Newpharma site expanded its range to offer medication available without a prescription – which presented a massive opportunity for growth, but involved a number of challenges. Just how did it manage it and what were the results?
Although Newpharma was initially a site selling health and beauty products, authorisation to sell non-prescription medication online would revolutionise the growth of the small pharmacy. The market opportunity quickly transformed the pioneering online pharmacy as a leader.
The company, which shares 75% of the market with its main competitor, then looked for the best payment solution. This was critical decision to make. To reassure customers, especially when entering a new market as risky as online pharmaceuticals, establishing trust and reinforcing data security is a priority focus.
However, there were a number of challenges to making this happen. First up, the Newpharma website had to be simple, clear and fast. An excessively slow response time means an abandoned sale. The user experience, too, had to be optimised and reassuring as sensitive products are being sold.
Finally, it needed to be scalable. Attractive Belgian tariffs and the breadth of the catalogue quickly attracted neighbouring countries like France and the Netherlands. Any solution had to be built to take this into account and deliver the same experience as the customer base expanded.
Working with Ingenico, Newpharma created a robust, scalable website that helped drive massive growth – and some impressive stats.
The Ingenico site’s uptime is 99.99%, so not a second of selling time is lost in the ultimate streamlined payment experience. It also created an environment of trust using HTTPS to 3D Secure v2, identified logos and strong authentication – a number of reassuring elements are in place to make sure shoppers feel safe transacting on the site.
The payment path, too, has been tailored to the specific requirements of the target countries. Language, currency and preferred means of payment – everything has been carefully thought out.
The results have been impressive. Newpharma has seen exponential growth since 2011 and the new site sees it selling more than 37,000 products and is accredited by the FAMHP (Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products).
Its exponential growth has already forced the company to relocate three times and expand twice in just eight years. If the e-pharmacy continues to grow at its current rate, it is set to achieve turnover of €100 million by 2019.
“Because the pharmacy sector is the most demanding in terms of customer requirements... It is essential for us to have a stable and secure platform. And that is what we have managed to put in place thanks to Ingenico ePayments,” says Jérôme Gobbesso, CEO of Newpharma.
“Although our site may not be the most beautiful, it is reassuring and meets our conversion targets. We are very happy with our payment partner, although most of the time we don’t need to think about it since everything works as it should, without a glitch.”