The online venture of CARiNG Pharmacy with Rakuten
When one thinks of online shopping, pharmaceutical products are certainly not the first thing that comes to mind. This is about to change in a big way. With its foray into e-commerce in November 2012, CARiNG Pharmacy becomes the first local health and personal care retail chain in Malaysia to take their business online, extending their reach to customers all over the country.
Offering a wide range of products that span across health food & supplement, beauty, and personal care needs, CARiNG Pharmacy has established itself as a household name and one of the top three pharmacies in Malaysia. With over 80 outlets nationwide, they have branched out to go beyond the regular pharmaceutical offerings to providing easily accessible pharmacist counselling service, free blood pressure checks, and other health checks at a minimum fee.
CARiNG Pharmacy joined Rakuten Online Shopping shortly after the online marketplace was launch in November last year. “We approached Rakuten as we were sold on their successful track record in Japan and Taiwan. We share an enthusiastic desire to provide a wide variety of product offerings that have an extensive reach across the community,” said Mr. Loo (pictured above), Marketing Director of CARiNG Pharmacy. Rakuten’s virtual platform paired with the strategic placement of the physical shops makes for an excellent combination that has exponentially increased CARiNG Pharmacy’s customer base.
We want our customers to have access to our products in the most convenient way possible.
Admittedly at first, CARiNG Pharmacy was slightly apprehensive about launching their virtual store on Rakuten Online Shopping, especially after their initial attempt with a local online marketplace did not turn out as successful as they hoped. With an insightful hook to the burgeoning e-commerce trend, they decided to try again, this time with Rakuten Online Shopping. Fast-forward to six months later, CARiNG Pharmacy is now one of the top performers on the online shopping marketplace. “We now have the first-mover advantage of being the first local pharmacy in Malaysia to have an online presence, and this puts us ahead of the game,” said Mr. Loo.
Since the launch of their virtual storefront, the pharmacy has found that Malaysians are keen on taking their pharmaceutical purchases online, with the most popular products being Tongkat Ali supplements, pain relieving gel Flexiseq, digital ovulation thermometers, and many other health supplements. In fact, it is interesting to find that some of the best-selling products in the online store are not that popular in their physical outlets.
CARiNG Pharmacy has also found that their online store works well as an awareness tool for their customers. Their new venture on Rakuten Online Shopping has successfully converted a prolific group of online searchers as loyal customers. Dubbed as “online-to-offline” commerce, customers go to their physical outlets after finding out products on their online store. Additionally, the online store is also helping them acquire new customers, especially from among the young adults.
Whether it is online or offline, CARiNG Pharmacy hopes to continue growing their nationwide presence. “We want to provide an all-encompassing health, beauty and personal care experience for our customers,” said Mr. Loo, adding that the ultimate objective is to make CARiNG Pharmacy’s products available and easily-accessible for all Malaysians.
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