Growth in drug sales through electronic pharmacies by 18%

In the third quarter of 2022, online pharmacies recorded an 18% increase in the value (in euros) of e-sales compared to the corresponding period in 2021.

In the first three quarters of 2022, consumers in Greece made purchases worth €201 million inclusive of VAT, according to a quarterly report from Convert Group. The average value of discounts that consumers find on the digital shelf of pharmacies is 39%, which is 1 unit more than in the previous year. Purchases from online pharmacies, according to the Convert Group report, do not include OTC drugs, since Greece is the only one in Europe not harmonized with the European Directive 2011/62/EU and European regulation 699/2014 (Ευρωπαϊκή Οδηγία 2011/62/ΕΕ και τον Ευρωπαϊκό Κανονισμό 699/2014). And as documented in the organization’s 2017 report on competitive conditions in the sector, the country is not implementing the relevant OECD recommendations for online pharmacies.

Recent ministerial decision KYA (April 20, 2022) determines that in our country it is prohibited to sell ΜΗΣΥΦΑ online (over-the-counter drugs), which can only be available in physical pharmacies. The categories in which the value (in euros) of online purchases increased at the 9-month level are:

+44% in health products (with therapeutic masks included in this category),

+28% in products for babies and children,

+11% in nutritional supplements and vitamins,

+7% in cosmetics and personal care products,

+5% other.

The beauty and personal care category continues to dominate, accounting for 46% of the industry’s total sales, with facials dominating. On the contrary, despite the fact that health product category tends to grow the most, accounting for only 12% of the sector’s total sales.

For 9 months, protective masks and diagnostic tests for coronavirus have big discounts, about 66% and 63% respectively. Regarding the average consumption of the respective goods (“online shopping cart”), in the 9th month of 2022, a decrease in their total cost was revealed, amounting to 43.70 euros with VAT from 44.90 euros in the corresponding period of 2021. Accordingly, the average number of products, placed by consumers in their online shopping carts increased by 7% to 4.9 products, of which 1.9 were personal care and hygiene products.

At the same time, company data confirms that the largest e-pharmacies, i.e. those with more than 200,000 monthly visits, continue to show higher sales growth than smaller e-pharmacies. In marketing channels, at the 9-month level, Google ads still steal the show, accounting for 41% of total transactions and marking a 6-point increase over the same period in 2021. In addition, price comparison engines are responsible for their queuing for 17% of transactions, and organic results for 14%.

Consumers continue to actively prioritize mobile and tablet devices for online shopping with a 65% share compared to desktop and portable devices (35%). When it comes to placing orders, lunch hours (12:00-15:00) are preferred, with Wednesday being the busiest day.

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