Covid-19 has changed the way things used to be. Online medicine delivery apps have come to the rescue at times when people were in lockdown. Today, in mid-2021, the world is rapidly vaccinating to get back to normal life. Will customers go back to ordinary shopping modes? This is a good question and I think the answer is not straightforward. People love what is comfortable and easy, something that online medicine delivers apps promise and offer. So, believe it or not, Covid did more than changing people’s behavior at a drastic time. It taught behavior that will stay for good for a majority of cases.
Taking this demand, a lot of businesses think about building their own apps. How much will it cost to build a medicine delivery app? In this article, you will find answers to this and other questions related to online medicine apps. First, let us see if you should create a medicine delivery app at all.
Should You Create a Medicine Delivery app?
If you are in the pharmacy business, the answer is a sharp “yes”. Why? Statistics show that today customers prefer online shopping when it comes to medicine. According to Zion Market Research, the global e-pharmacy market will be estimated at USD 107.63 billion by the year 2025.
Why do experts believe the e-pharmacy market will supersede 107 billion? The answer is in the number of applications developed today and the even more rising demand for such apps. How does it work?
Customers can browse many categories and medication and once they find what they need, they can add it to the cart and make the payment. They will receive the delivery at their doorstep. By doing that, customers avoid standing in line which is a lot easier for them.
But escaping long lines is not the only reason customers love online medicine delivery. Here is what they can do to benefit from online medicine delivery apps:
- Save on travel;
- Find more competitive prices when browsing for a specific medication;
- Search for information on medication and get instructions;
- Order at discounts or;
- Order with a doctor’s prescription.
In short, a regular buyer is at ease and in a more advantaged position.
How to Create a Medicine Delivery Application?
If you are still reading this article, it means you have an idea of developing a medicine delivery application. Here are the steps to follow. These are common for almost all apps so we are not inventing a bicycle.
- Research Phase — Everything starts with an idea. Whether the implementation of the idea is successful or not, depends on how thorough you know the topic. At this stage, it is important to know your competitors and find gaps that you can fill. You must also know the target community and their wants. This is how you build an efficient marketing plan.
- Compliance — You need to comply with certain requirements in order to be able to sell your app. At this stage, it is important to investigate all functional and non-functional requirements of your pharmacy application.
- Features — Once you know what your users need, you can build your features based on this information. Features may be different for different apps.
- Prototyping — It’s when your design team actually implements ideas into tangible forms from paper to digital. In prototyping, you create an experimental model of your app and check whether it matches user wants or needs. You can make adjustments based on feedback.
- UI/UX Design — These two terms are used interchangeably but there is a difference between the two. UI or “user interface design” and UX or “user experience design” both relate to user experience but UX design is all about how users feel, while UI design is all about the look and functionality of the app interfaces.
Basic Panels for Creating a Medicine Delivery App
There are three basic panels for creating a medicine delivery app.
- Pharmacy panel
- Customer panel
- Admin panel.
Here is what you can do with the pharmacy panel:
- Register/ Login
- Dedicated Interface
- Order Notifications
- Digital Prescriptions
- Receive Payments
- Push Notifications
- Manage Store Details.
Here is what features the customer panel has:
- Registration and Login
- Maintain Profile
- Add Prescription
- Search Medicines
- Order Medicine
- Pay for Orders
- Order History
- Avail Offers and Discounts.
And this is the list of the features of the admin panel:
- Payment Gateway
- Real-Time Analytics
- Tracking System
- Track Earnings
- Contact Customer
What Else Do You Need to Create Your Medicine Delivery App?
Here is what you also need to know when you create your medicine delivery app.
Your business needs to be registered. You can either register your company separately or take a form of association or franchise. When doing that, you need a robust tax consultation system to have all necessary documents in order. The medication industry is governed by various tax laws and you will need to hire an experienced tax consultant.
- Robust accounting system
You must record every financial activity. This starts with investments and finishes with sales and generating revenues. You need to prepare different books for your fixed and variable expenses. Make sure to keep all the supporting documentation.
You must have proper licensing to start your new business. You must comply with certain legal requirements. E.g., it is prohibited to allow customers to buy certain medicines without a valid prescription from a registered medical practitioner.
- Supply of Medication
You can adopt one of two models or both. You can keep a stock of medicines at your own end and deliver them to customers upon request. Alternatively, you can have an association with pharmacies and deliver the medicines to the buyers from these shops. You can also choose the mail option of delivery.
Insurance is mandatory to protect your online business. This is done to compensate for the risk of loss from any incidents like fire or any other accidents.
Now let’s turn to the technical aspect.
The technology stack required to develop an online pharmacy application may include the following.
Front-end development may be implemented with Swift, Java, Angular, HTMP, CSS, React.
You may use Laravel, Phyton, Node.js for back-end development.
For the cloud environment consult AWS, Google Cloud.
Consider also this chart.
What is the Cost of a Medicine Delivery App?
Now that you know the technical and non-technical aspects of medicine delivery apps, let us talk about money. How much will it cost? The answer is it depends on several factors. Here they are:
- Features and functionality
- Development platforms
- Development location
- Development time
- The expertise of the company.
Let’s go through each separately.
Naturally, the more advanced your app features will be, the more costly the app will be. To compete in the market, you may need some unique features. This adds in development costs and increases your budget.
You may consider one or several platforms. Developing an app with more than one platform, naturally costs more. The technology used is also a factor. Additional features, like multiple payment gateways or real-time analytics, add to the cost.
Today, there are development teams in different geographies. Those in the USA and Europe will cost you more but there are also high talents in Asia and Eastern Europe. For instance, a developer in the US charges between $150-$250per hour, whereas in Eastern Europe and Asia developers charge $40-$80 per hour.
The cost will also depend on the time spent on app development.
The reputation of the company is also a factor. It’s a good idea to consult the portfolio of the company before you decide to hire a development team.
How Do Medicine Delivery Apps Generate Money?
There are several models for making money with a medicine delivery app. Businesses choose one or a combination of them.
Although this is not the best option for startups, subscription plans are still used by some online apps. Lexicomp is a medical app with a great database of diseases also offering useful information about drugs and their effects. There are several different subscription plans available to choose from to find one that best fits your budget and needs.
This is a more popular approach when you charge a fee for medication but don’t charge for the service. Examples are pharmacy home delivery apps PillPack and Capsule.
Businesses can promote medicine, other pharmacies, and medical services and generate revenue from advertisements.
- Built-in promotion
Online medicine apps owners can promote the services of their parties by placing these companies in the recommended section or showing their medicine on the top of the page. Instead, the apps generate revenue from third-party vendors.
How to Create a Medicine Delivery Application — a Checklist
Here are the basic steps to create a medicine delivery application.
- Market analysis
- Business model and monetization policy
- Finding a Mobile App Development Company
- Test and launch of the app
- Ongoing development and support
- Marketing and Partnerships.
You may think that it is a nuisance to launch a medicine delivery app. In fact, with the right development company, it is even fun.
The prospects of the business are promising given the rising demand for home delivery services. Whether with or without the pandemic, the customers are eager to enjoy the comfort of online pharmaceutical services.
In short, the business is promising and a lot of teams can reap their fruits.