Reuters Article: U.S. pet doctors steel themselves for online pharmacy challenge
(Reuters) - Enter Covetrus Inc, Vet Source, which partners with Patterson Companies Inc, and others that offer tools to help vets manage their practices and give customers the convenience they have come to expect from online shopping.
“We started to realize this is what our clients want,” said Stephanie Foster, practice manager at Kings Veterinary Hospital in Loveland, Ohio. “They want to be able to order things at 11 o’ clock at night. They’re used to the Amazon mentality.”
Foster says she began using Covetrus to order drugs and supplies for the practice after it began losing sales of pet food and other products to online retailers. Now, her hospital has a website run by Covetrus under the practice’s name that effectively acts as its online pharmacy.
With that comes software that helps the clinic manage its inventory and track prescriptions, so Foster knows when clients need a refill and for those Covetrus collects a service fee that is a percentage of sales.
Foster said partnering with Covetrus has helped boost overall sales by half over the past three years because it gives clients online convenience, timely reminders and, despite the fees, competitive prices.
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