Online Shop for а Pharmacy Chain Rigla
Rigla is the largest pharmacy chain in Europe and a member of Protek Group — the largest group of pharmaceutical companies in Russia.
The chain incorporates over 3,000 pharmacy stores in 54 constituent entities of Russia. It is represented by three brands: pharmaceutical supermarkets by the name Rigla, small-format pharmacies Bud Zdorov (Russian, “Get Well”), and discounters Zhivika.
Rigla planned to launch a new sales channel — an online shop. In order to do so it needed to have mobile apps for three pharmacy brands – Rigla, Bud Zdorov, and Zhivika.
All three apps had the same functionality — an online shop integrated with a loyalty program. However, given that each of them had its own target audience, geography, pricing, and loyalty program, Rigla needed 3 different apps. And since native development suggests that each of them had to be written both for Android and iOS – it would have resulted in six apps.
Sure enough, the company wasn’t OK with this scenario. They planned to launch the app as soon as possible, cutting back on time and costs of development. With this idea in mind they reached out to Surf.
The challenges we faced were as follows:
- Find the best solution and make six apps avoiding extra expenses.
- Create 3 apps with similar functionality but different design.
- Digitize the loyalty program.
- Implement the project on a tight schedule.
All three pharmacy brands falling under Rigla have got their mobile apps. It took us less than 4 months from the very start.The apps were written on a cross-platform framework — Flutter, which helped the client save 40% of the budget they would have spent on native development.
All apps have smooth animation and are designed in accordance with respective brand colors. The flypages provide all the necessary information on a product: description, patient information leaflet, reviews, and availability. Checkout can follow a number of scenarios: e.g., prescription drugs are only available for pickup, and the rest of the items in the cart can be delivered. At this point customers can also take advantage of the loyalty program.
70% of all online customers in Rigla make purchases via the mobile app. An average purchase size in the app is bigger than an offline purchase.
Head of Online Sales, Rigla Pharmacies
A single code base for 3 apps = 40% of the budget saved
What we suggested to the client was to write all of the apps on a single code base. In order to do so we opted in favour of Flutter — a cross-platform solution by Google enabling programmers to write one code for both iOS and Android.
Apps made for each brand interact with their own backend. All three apps have a single code base: a continuous integration system — Jenkins — provides builds for a corresponding brand using a single code base. The process is automated: a developer only needs to write code once and all six apps are updated at the same time.
The project is well-documented — thanks to that it’s easy for new developers to get on board or for the client to turn it into an in-house project. The app is based on standard SurfGear architecture making it much easier to support.
Apps Tailored to Customers’ Needs
Before we got down to development we analyzed apps of other pharmacy chains: compared their functionality, studied user feedback, and built a Customer Journey Map.
What we found out was that there are two types of customers in a pharmacy:
- “Routine” customers, e.g. people with chronic diseases. They know what medicine they need.dicine they need.
- “Emergency” customers, e.g. people with acute pain. They have no idea what to buy.
The group a customer belongs to defines their behaviour both at a store and in an app. For example, the second type of customer is likely to ask a pharmacist for advice. We kept this in mind when we made the app — apart from a regular search option we added search by conditions and major symptoms.
We came up with the design for the Rigla app using the UX prototype as a starting point and then adapted it to branding guidelines set for Zhivika and Bud Zdorov. The resulting UI-kit is a set of graphic elements available in different colors depending on the brand. a clickable UX prototype: the client checked it on its iPhone and offered feedback.
We’ve established guidelines for the client’s content managers explaining how to create banners that look good in a mobile app.
Compliant with Particular Aspects of Drug Distributione Logistics
Pharmacies are bound by strict regulations. For instance, it was illegal to sell medicines online or order home delivery until very recently. Products in stock are distributed between pharmacies in an uneven manner and cannot be transferred from one pharmacy to another.
We took different delivery terms set for medicines and cosmetics into account as well as products in stock in each pharmacy and the fact that orders can be divided into lots. Eventually we were left with seven possible checkout scenarios. Here are the three most common ones:
- Some of the items can be delivered from one of the stores, while the rest are left for customer pick-up in a store where the items are in stock.
- All items are transferred for customer pickup to a single outlet, but only in a few days.
- The whole order is delivered to a customer.
In order for users to feel comfortable in any scenario and notice no constraints, we created a “multi cart” with complex business logic.