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Southstar Drug is a leading pharmaceutical brand in the Philippines, with more than 500 physical drug stores spread throughout the country. It was founded in 1937 by Tomas Dy-Makao as a Chinese herbal medicine outlet. The company has gone from strength to strength to become one of the top 500 corporations in the country. In 2020, it embarked on a digitization program in response to difficulties presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Its new digital channel continues to serve Filipinos diligently, ensuring they get their medical supplies reliably and conveniently.
Brand: Southstar Drug
Platform: Advanced Shopify
Year Founded: 1937
Usage: Since August 2020
In 2020, Southstar Drug's long-established footprint in the Philippines was in a perilous position due to lockdowns imposed by the Filipino government in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. Business came to a standstill, but Southstar's customers still needed access to their medicines and vitamins. COVID-19 protection supplies were also in demand.
These challenges saw the 86-year-old brand pivot towards digital with the launch of a website to serve customers across the Philippines. With the website going live came the question of how to ensure customers can get their orders on time and follow the journey of their packages conveniently. The company also needed a reliable order-tracking solution before availing more products online.
Having forayed into the digital world a few years before, in 2018, with the launch of its website, Southstar Drug now wanted to maximize the potential of this channel. The brand pondered how to ensure customers can place their orders on time and track the deliveries conveniently. The company also needed to have a reliable order-tracking solution before making more products available online.
Throughout its existence, Southstar Drug has been famed for its high-quality medicines, vitamins, and beauty products. Additionally, excellent customer service has been a mainstay, making the company a trusted pharmaceutical brand.
But, like all other brick-and-mortar stores, the 2020 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns affected its profits negatively and threatened to disconnect it from its customers.
The majority of Southstar Drug customers were used to shopping in-store from its numerous outlets. The challenge was getting these buyers to leverage the company's website online store to order their pharmaceutical supplies. Southstar Drug was also concerned about the logistical challenges presented by the lockdown and wanted to enable customers to track their orders as they ship to their locations.
The Southstar Drug team resolved to look for an order tracking solution that would empower customers to get updates on their orders. Having a package tracking app was also viewed as the best approach to making the company's website a magnet for Filipinos looking to buy medicines online.
To identify how best to help their customers track their medicine orders, Southstar Drug allocated time to searching for the most robust order tracking solution. After analyzing what their new digital channel lacked and considering customer feedback, the company set out to look for a tracking solution that had to have the following features and capabilities built into it.
Southstar Drug's team embarked on a thorough 10-day solution researching and testing process in August 2020 that eventually led it to partner with ParcelPanel. This tracking app stood out from the rest because it met the above criteria for an ideal order monitoring solution that the company was looking for.
Additionally, ParcelPanel was a cost-effective solution that enabled Southstar Drug to keep its order tracking costs under control, even with an increase in order volume. The tiered pricing plan based on volume rather than per order meant that the drug store could easily upgrade its plan when necessary to meet the need to track more orders as more customers embraced buying online.
ParcelPanel's tracking app was also easy to implement on the brand's Shopify store without requiring a specialized team. This low-code solution could be deployed seamlessly and help customers track their orders almost immediately.
"Our delivery time for orders within the Metro Manila and Rizal areas was a day to three days and up to 14 days in provincial areas. ParcelPanel helped us turn this around, and the average is now just 1.6 days for online orders," explained Vien Leonoras, eCommerce Manager at Southstar Drug.
Jervee Del Rosa, Digital Marketing Specialist at Southstar Drug, chimed in, "Through our website, we wanted to boost customer engagements. ParcelPanel's branded tracking page helped us achieve this, as our customers now look up their orders at least 5.4 times throughout the delivery cycle. Our ROI from tracking is at a satisfactory 102%."
Southstar Drug has experienced the following positive changes since implementing ParcelPanel.
"The power of digital is evident, and we would like to enable our customers to experience omnichannel shopping with optimum delivery times. ParcelPanel is our long-term partner as we actualize this ambition," shared Vien Leonoras, eCommerce Manager at Southstar Drug.
Southstar Drug wants to be the premier drug store chain in the Philippines, offering all its customers a seamless omnichannel shopping experience. With ParcelPanel integrated with its business systems, Southstar Drug can track transit time by courier and generate detailed shipment reports to help optimize delivery times and enhance the customer post-purchase experience.