Sales & Marketing

AI in Pharmacy: Top 5 Use Cases of Image Recognition for Boosting OTC Sales

Ankit Singh
May 17, 2024
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AI solutions are shaking up pharma sales worldwide. While technology has found appreciative applications in  research and development, they are also enabling sales and marketing teams to sell more, advertise more and compete more.

One area where AI-powered tools are making significant strides is in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) drug sales. 

According to Statista, “The global OTC drugs  market is expected to reach a revenue of US$201.40 billion by 2024, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 4.90% from 2024 to 2029. Increased consumer healthcare awareness, self-medication trends, and the easy availability of OTC products are some of the many reasons for this exponential growth. 

Amidst this growth, ensuring optimal on-shelf stock and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards are paramount for OTC pharmaceutical companies.AI & Image Recognition is addressing these challenges with automated retail audit solutions and enabling pharmaceutical manufacturers streamline their operations, enhancing visibility in retail environments, and optimizing their sales strategies. 

Let's delve into five compelling use cases where AI ad Image Recognition is transforming retail store audits and improving retail execution in the OTC pharma sector:

Top 5 Use Cases of AI Image Recognition in OTC Pharma Sector 

1. Tracking OSA & SOS in Any Store Environment

In general drug stores, AI-powered tools, like image recognition, play a pivotal role in tracking On-Shelf Availability (OSA) and Share of Shelf (SOS). Here's how:

  • Real-time OSA Insights: Solutions using computer Vision and AI technology scans shelves instantly, detecting any gaps in product availability. This allows field reps to promptly address stock shortages, ensuring customers can access the medications they need without delay.
  • Prompt Issue Rectification: With AI calculating OSA scores for individual product categories, field reps can quickly prioritize restocking efforts based on real-time data. By addressing stock issues promptly, brands can minimize lost sales opportunities and maintain customer satisfaction.
  • Feedback Loops: AI not only provides insights to field reps but also relays data to CPG leadership in real time. This fosters collaboration between frontline staff and headquarters, enabling proactive problem-solving and continuous improvement in OSA performance.
  • Accurate SOS Measurement: AI-driven solutions precisely measure the allocation of shelf space for different products, ensuring each item receives its designated share. This helps maintain brand visibility and optimize product placement strategies to maximize sales potential.
  • Customized Scorecards: Pharma companies may create and monitor SOS compliance goals for field representatives and retail partners using AI-generated scorecards. These scorecards offer actionable insights into performance, enabling businesses to encourage compliance with distribution requirements and promote ongoing enhancements to retail execution.

 2. Planogram Compliance Monitoring 

Artificial Intelligence-driven instruments resemble the OTC pharmacy equivalent of superheroes, particularly in terms of maintaining planogram adherence. This is how they're causing a stir:

  • Keeping an Eye on Shelves in Real-Time: Imagine having a pair of eyes constantly scanning the shelves, ensuring everything's where it should be according to the planogram. That's what AI does. It watches over the products and the displayed layouts, ensuring they're always in their designated spots.
  • Optimal stocking of key SKUs: Assuring visibility compliance can be tedious considering products are always being picked off the shelves and purchased by consumers. Ensuring your MSLs (Must-Stock List) are in place is important for determining an effective planogram strategy. 
  • Making Shopping a Delight: Ever walked into a store where everything looked perfect and easy to find? An effective and well implemented planogram attracts customers, ensures right messaging and makes shopping less confusing. They create a smooth, pleasing shopping experience for customers. When things are neat and tidy, it's not just easier to shop, it's more enjoyable too.
  • Incentive control: Identifying stores that are in compliance or violate compliance can get easy with automated store audits. Accurately identifying product placement on a shelf layout is determined by the brand and retailers/stores need to adhere to the set guidelines. Image Recognition helps uncover loopholes and get better ROI of your payouts. 

3. Price Tag Identification 

In an over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical store environment, AI-powered tools play a crucial role in identifying and capturing data from price tags efficiently and accurately. Here's how these tools streamline the process:

  • Say Goodbye to Manual Price Checks: With AI's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tech, identifying shelf tags can be as easy as snapping a picture of a price tag. No more errors creeping in, and pricing info stays fresh and accurate.
  • Competitor pricing intelligence: AI is adept at large-scale tasks and master at detecting minute details, such as sales or discounts. Imagine having your competitors' price and promotion charts at the palm of your hand. This helps you build a better and effective sales strategy. 
  • Optimizing Pricing Strategies: With real-time price visibility enforcing pricing guidelines becomes a breeze. Mistakes in pricing are swiftly caught and corrected, ensuring your store stays in line with the rules, top to bottom.

4. Competitive Intelligence

AI-powered solutions are transforming competitive intelligence in the over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical industry by offering priceless insights and analysis:

  • Spotting Competitor Products: AI-based Image Recognition systems today can monitor competitor adjacencies on critical metrics such as products stocked and how much share on the shelf is allocated to them. This enables retailers and brands to modify their strategies to sell more. 
  • Monitor Competitor Promotions & Pricing: Monitoring Competitor promotions and displays can be a goldmine of data for formulating effective in-store promotions. Effective marketing strategies drive sales inside store and having real time insights on promos, discounts and pricing can be essential. 
  • Keeping Up with Prices: Monitoring in realtime what stores charge for medicines in real time can help ensure regulatory compliance. Also understanding what discounts and offers are being promoted by a brand also helps determine better pricing for one's products.

5. Integration of POS Data For Mapping Sales Data 

AI-powered tools facilitate the seamless integration of POS data for mapping sales data in OTC pharmaceutical store environments, empowering stores to optimize performance, drive sales growth, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

  • Sell Rate at each store: OTC drugs are seasonal and are sold as and when there is a rise of demand due to specific/interesting events. Understanding what medicines and health products are being sold at what store to whom and how often can help optimize distribution strategy. This can happen when on-shelf data is correlated with PoS data and compared to other stores in the same region, thus emerging sales patterns and demand trends. 
  • Performance Boost: Armed with mapped sales data, AI helps OTC stores fine-tune their performance. Stores can make savvy decisions about product placement, marketing strategies, and inventory management by pinpointing top-selling products, understanding customer demographics, and predicting future trends.

ParallelDots Image Recognition & AI for OTC Pharmaceutical brands

We're excited to be part of the AI revolution in the OTC pharmaceutical industry with our product, ShelfWatch. 

ShelfWatch is an AI-assisted Image Recognition platform that enables OTC Pharma brands with real-time shelf data and execution insights. Brands can now easily address out of stock situations, track planogram and pricing compliance in real time and monitor at store promotional displays to enable data-driven decision making to boost store sales. 

If you wish to get a personalized demo, register here to book a meeting with our experts. 

AI solutions are shaking up pharma sales worldwide. While technology has found appreciative applications in  research and development, they are also enabling sales and marketing teams to sell more, advertise more and compete more.

One area where AI-powered tools are making significant strides is in the Over-the-Counter (OTC) drug sales. 

According to Statista, “The global OTC drugs  market is expected to reach a revenue of US$201.40 billion by 2024, with an anticipated annual growth rate of 4.90% from 2024 to 2029. Increased consumer healthcare awareness, self-medication trends, and the easy availability of OTC products are some of the many reasons for this exponential growth. 

Amidst this growth, ensuring optimal on-shelf stock and ensuring compliance with regulatory standards are paramount for OTC pharmaceutical companies.AI & Image Recognition is addressing these challenges with automated retail audit solutions and enabling pharmaceutical manufacturers streamline their operations, enhancing visibility in retail environments, and optimizing their sales strategies. 

Let's delve into five compelling use cases where AI ad Image Recognition is transforming retail store audits and improving retail execution in the OTC pharma sector:

Top 5 Use Cases of AI Image Recognition in OTC Pharma Sector 

1. Tracking OSA & SOS in Any Store Environment

In general drug stores, AI-powered tools, like image recognition, play a pivotal role in tracking On-Shelf Availability (OSA) and Share of Shelf (SOS). Here's how:

  • Real-time OSA Insights: Solutions using computer Vision and AI technology scans shelves instantly, detecting any gaps in product availability. This allows field reps to promptly address stock shortages, ensuring customers can access the medications they need without delay.
  • Prompt Issue Rectification: With AI calculating OSA scores for individual product categories, field reps can quickly prioritize restocking efforts based on real-time data. By addressing stock issues promptly, brands can minimize lost sales opportunities and maintain customer satisfaction.
  • Feedback Loops: AI not only provides insights to field reps but also relays data to CPG leadership in real time. This fosters collaboration between frontline staff and headquarters, enabling proactive problem-solving and continuous improvement in OSA performance.
  • Accurate SOS Measurement: AI-driven solutions precisely measure the allocation of shelf space for different products, ensuring each item receives its designated share. This helps maintain brand visibility and optimize product placement strategies to maximize sales potential.
  • Customized Scorecards: Pharma companies may create and monitor SOS compliance goals for field representatives and retail partners using AI-generated scorecards. These scorecards offer actionable insights into performance, enabling businesses to encourage compliance with distribution requirements and promote ongoing enhancements to retail execution.

 2. Planogram Compliance Monitoring 

Artificial Intelligence-driven instruments resemble the OTC pharmacy equivalent of superheroes, particularly in terms of maintaining planogram adherence. This is how they're causing a stir:

  • Keeping an Eye on Shelves in Real-Time: Imagine having a pair of eyes constantly scanning the shelves, ensuring everything's where it should be according to the planogram. That's what AI does. It watches over the products and the displayed layouts, ensuring they're always in their designated spots.
  • Optimal stocking of key SKUs: Assuring visibility compliance can be tedious considering products are always being picked off the shelves and purchased by consumers. Ensuring your MSLs (Must-Stock List) are in place is important for determining an effective planogram strategy. 
  • Making Shopping a Delight: Ever walked into a store where everything looked perfect and easy to find? An effective and well implemented planogram attracts customers, ensures right messaging and makes shopping less confusing. They create a smooth, pleasing shopping experience for customers. When things are neat and tidy, it's not just easier to shop, it's more enjoyable too.
  • Incentive control: Identifying stores that are in compliance or violate compliance can get easy with automated store audits. Accurately identifying product placement on a shelf layout is determined by the brand and retailers/stores need to adhere to the set guidelines. Image Recognition helps uncover loopholes and get better ROI of your payouts. 

3. Price Tag Identification 

In an over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical store environment, AI-powered tools play a crucial role in identifying and capturing data from price tags efficiently and accurately. Here's how these tools streamline the process:

  • Say Goodbye to Manual Price Checks: With AI's Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tech, identifying shelf tags can be as easy as snapping a picture of a price tag. No more errors creeping in, and pricing info stays fresh and accurate.
  • Competitor pricing intelligence: AI is adept at large-scale tasks and master at detecting minute details, such as sales or discounts. Imagine having your competitors' price and promotion charts at the palm of your hand. This helps you build a better and effective sales strategy. 
  • Optimizing Pricing Strategies: With real-time price visibility enforcing pricing guidelines becomes a breeze. Mistakes in pricing are swiftly caught and corrected, ensuring your store stays in line with the rules, top to bottom.

4. Competitive Intelligence

AI-powered solutions are transforming competitive intelligence in the over-the-counter (OTC) pharmaceutical industry by offering priceless insights and analysis:

  • Spotting Competitor Products: AI-based Image Recognition systems today can monitor competitor adjacencies on critical metrics such as products stocked and how much share on the shelf is allocated to them. This enables retailers and brands to modify their strategies to sell more. 
  • Monitor Competitor Promotions & Pricing: Monitoring Competitor promotions and displays can be a goldmine of data for formulating effective in-store promotions. Effective marketing strategies drive sales inside store and having real time insights on promos, discounts and pricing can be essential. 
  • Keeping Up with Prices: Monitoring in realtime what stores charge for medicines in real time can help ensure regulatory compliance. Also understanding what discounts and offers are being promoted by a brand also helps determine better pricing for one's products.

5. Integration of POS Data For Mapping Sales Data 

AI-powered tools facilitate the seamless integration of POS data for mapping sales data in OTC pharmaceutical store environments, empowering stores to optimize performance, drive sales growth, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

  • Sell Rate at each store: OTC drugs are seasonal and are sold as and when there is a rise of demand due to specific/interesting events. Understanding what medicines and health products are being sold at what store to whom and how often can help optimize distribution strategy. This can happen when on-shelf data is correlated with PoS data and compared to other stores in the same region, thus emerging sales patterns and demand trends. 
  • Performance Boost: Armed with mapped sales data, AI helps OTC stores fine-tune their performance. Stores can make savvy decisions about product placement, marketing strategies, and inventory management by pinpointing top-selling products, understanding customer demographics, and predicting future trends.

ParallelDots Image Recognition & AI for OTC Pharmaceutical brands

We're excited to be part of the AI revolution in the OTC pharmaceutical industry with our product, ShelfWatch. 

ShelfWatch is an AI-assisted Image Recognition platform that enables OTC Pharma brands with real-time shelf data and execution insights. Brands can now easily address out of stock situations, track planogram and pricing compliance in real time and monitor at store promotional displays to enable data-driven decision making to boost store sales. 

If you wish to get a personalized demo, register here to book a meeting with our experts.