As expected, strong competition in the field of online pharmacies drives the distributors to promote their products in a rather aggressive manner than cannot but detrimentally affect the image of entire e-commerce segment of online Canadian pharmacies.
Aggressive promotions in online drugstore business: the consequences
Aggressive commercial practices constitute an unfair practice because of repeated solicitations or the use of physical or moral constraints and the alteration of consumer consent. Know that the Consumer Code protects you against these practices.
This said, one needs to dig deeper into the possible harmful effects of such promotions. In its principle and according to its very design, online pharmacy business is helping out people with a restricted budget to get access to low cost medications. But what happens if the customers are made immune to promotions of such services? In the long run, this makes people wary of the predatory ways of “here today, gone tomorrow” e-drugstore players. It becomes increasingly harder to find an e-store with bona fide practices one can trust their health to, and consequentially, shoppers have no other choice but to turn to local pharmacy chains and overpay for their medications.
A commercial practice is aggressive if, because of repeated and insistent requests or physical or moral constraints:
- it impairs or is likely to significantly alter a consumer’s freedom of choice;
- it vitiates or is likely to vitiate the consent of a consumer;
- it impedes the exercise of the contractual rights of a consumer.
- It is characterized by the pressure exerted on the consumer to make it yield or to guide its choices.
The Consumer Code gives a list of practices deemed to be aggressive. The following practices are included:
- engage in repeated and unwanted solicitations by telephone, fax, e-mail or any other remote communication tool;
- in an advertisement, directly encourage children to persuade their parents or other adults to buy the advertised product;
- explicitly inform the consumer that if they do not buy the product or service, the professional’s employment or livelihood will be jeopardized;
- give the impression that the consumer has already won or will win by performing a price or other equivalent benefit, when in fact:
- either there is no price or other equivalent benefit;
- the performance of an action in connection with the price request or other equivalent benefit is subject to the consumer’s obligation to pay money or to bear a cost.
Healthier ways to promote health products
Thus the repercussions of aggressive marketing practiced by the majority of online drugstores eventually prevent customers from having access to affordable healthcare products. How does one protect oneself from obtrusively promoted services of unreliable drugstores whose sole focus is making money? And is there a more “ecologically friendly” way to compete within the industry, for that matter?
Distributing flyers with hefty discounts, instant discounts, loyalty card packages and all-out broken prices is a wiser approach to promotional waves planned as short-term as well as long-term strategies. It is much more effective for an online drugstore to first prove itself and build a relationship with customers based on trust and genuine care for their wellbeing. First prove to them the expertise, skills and the ability to help them. Only then, make them an offer. If the drugs the pharmacy offers are of high quality and the offer in question exactly meets the needs of online pharmacy visitors, the only question will remain the price.