A Transformation of Pharmacies  

A long, long time ago (roughly thirty years or so), the word “pharmacy” would conjure up images of stale fragrances, dusty cupboards, depressing aisles, and grim-faced pharmacists. Those days are long gone. Today’s pharmacies are much more than that: Besides aspirins, band-aids, and other health care products, they’ve become a marketplace for everything from beauty products to baby care items; healthy living, food, household products, and even electrical and toys. But not only that, they accompany the shoppers on their health journey, with the right content, at the right time wherever they are. Going beyond being just a pharmacy and retail store, is exactly what Dis-Chem are all about.  


Dis-Chem is the fastest-growing pharmaceutical retail group, operating in Africa today. Founded in 1978, it has grown from a single store in South Africa to a chain of over 250 stores, expanding to Botswana and Namibia. Dis-Chem prides itself on its commitment to its customer-centric policy and “pharmacy first” approach, working closely with their supplier partners and implementing a personalization strategy. 


Strategizing with Quinton Cronje 

Quinton Cronje is the Strategy and Insights Executive for Dis-Chem, responsible for uncovering growth opportunities for the leading retailer. That means creating more engagements that matter for Dis-Chem, their shoppers, and their valued suppliers. Recently, he shared some insights on how he and his team at Dis-Chem leverage NIQ Activate platform to harness thousands of data points to create better decision-making processes both internally and externally.   

“We use NIQ Activate platform in every meeting, every day looking at numbers of shoppers, basket size, frequency, different spending patterns, category analysis, brands performance, promotions and much more. Analyzing customer data to create marketing and targeted campaigns” stated Cronje. 

Collaboration with suppliers is also a key factor in Dis-Chem’s strategy. By using the NIQ Activate platform Dis-Chem are able to analyze hundreds of categories, such as vitamins, skincare, fragrances, minerals, health food, etc, allowing suppliers transparency and a better understanding of the brand performance.  

“Suppliers are super interested in the NIQ Activate platform, as they are not used to getting this kind of granularity of data in South Africa at the basket and product level. Category share report and affinity report are great examples of analysis our suppliers gain tremendous value from. Illustrating the dynamics of the category in terms of which brands are growing and which are declining, which are getting shoppers attracted, who’s losing shoppers and more. And as a next step, what are the overlapping products, and complementary products that can support their promotions plan, do people who buy electric toothbrushes also buy their replacement heads with us or the toothpaste and mouthwash? Ultimately my role is to reflect to the brands who are their shoppers and what’s the right strategy to help them grow in Dis-Chem” explains Cronje.  


Targeted Approach and Analyzing Results 

With NIQ Activate, Dis-Chem is able to segment the right audience and create targeted campaigns, measure the performance and optimize all marketing efforts across all channels (emails, SMS text messages, push notifications…).

“I’m a big advocate of NIQ Activate,” says Cronje. “We are able to close the loop completely to see if our marketing efforts were successful or not and with that to strategize the targeting with different objectives such as: lapsed shoppers, increase repeating purchasing, cross-selling medium spenders… We see great value in gaining those insights and running the campaigns, providing us with the ability to feedback and work smarter with our suppliers” concluded Cronje.