How We Carved A Niche For An Rx Delivery Service by@salemm

How We Carved A Niche For An Rx Delivery Service

Salem HackerNoon profile picture


Product Management Leader.

Few years ago, I consulted for a small Rx delivery startup in HongKong where I focused on strategy, go-to-market and built out their product direction from the ground up.

The delivery service currently has over 110,000 weekly active users , 350% more than the founders had imagined in 2 [1/2] years.

This is an account of how we found product market fit for the product.

1. Interviewing pharmacy owners (Get out of the office!)

Early on in the product development cycle, we went door to door speaking to pharmacy owners and asked open ended questions. These interviews helped us to understand the users’ “job-to-be-done”, pains and gains. 

We wanted to understand how they have attempted to solve their pains till date. During this interview process, a team member noticed a pharmacist who was on the phone re-confirming a wrong prescription and later declining the delivery order to a senior citizen.

Sometimes it isn’t just what you hear from the interviewee, but also what is going on around you while conducting the interview.

2. Researching Delivery

Once we started to dig into the prescription delivery problem we observed, we identified that many small pharmacies couldn’t manage delivery, hence did not deliver.

For the ones that did, they hated doing it for several reasons, chief of which was the stress and heavy resources that came with the demand. Those that did deliver, did not enjoy doing.

They had the opinion that “delivery as a service” for pharmacies could be a potential solution.

3. MVP Delivery Landing Page

Now we needed to test demand and the first item on our roadmap was a landing page. 

Very often, I see many teams overthink the quality of a landing page but i can tell you that it only has to be functional and stable at first, you can add all the fluff later. 

This was functional at best, but not powerfully elegant by 2021 design standards. We had displayed available prescriptions from these local pharmacies and we set the delivery fee to XX$ with no minimum order size.

4. Online campaign and mini SEO. 

Because we knew that users would not magically find the landing page, we needed to put it in front of them { customer touch points }. Adword campaigns were the best bet to help us know if people were searching for this under-served need in the area. 

5. Instant Feedback and lessons.

Now the requests were coming in, slowly.

Clearly, something was working, albeit at a very small scale. We took key lessons in relation to pharmacies, hiccups by delivery drivers and order errors and logistics. We had a zoomed-out view of the end to end journey. We had to prioritize and iterate on those.

6. Building with data and insights.

At this stage, everything we built was from experiments run on the field. Demand had now scaled and we found a smart way to hire and pay drivers per supply.

The new challenge was to develop a core loop around this new level of scale. How feasible is this growth?, now that we have validated this need and made customers happy.

In my experience, I have watched this step break a lot of startups. The logistics of product health. 

In Summary

One important lesson is that you will never learn anything about your product if you always sit behind data. Your decisions and product intuition will be built when you sit more often with customers. Only then will your data make sense in hindsight.


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