Interview with Mr. Gerasimos Triantafyllas, pharmacist and founder of ofarmakopoiosmou.gr
Mr. Gerasimos Triantafyllas is a pharmacist and the founder of ofarmakopoiosmou.gr, the first and largest Online Pharmacy in Greece, which started its activity in 2012, aiming to become the best online health and beauty consultant.
The aim of its founder was to offer the customer the confidence and trust that he would feel in a physical store, buying everything he cared for, and having a pharmacist at his side with a trustworthy man. In this interview, Mr. Triantafyllas talks to us about the creation and the vision of his most important venture.
When was your first contact with the field of pharmacies?
Since I can remember myself as a child, I have memories from the pharmacy. Both my parents are pharmacists, so I was in a pharmacy from a toddler and I wanted to mix up with the work of the bench. There are in fact many pharmacy customers who remember me asking them “how can I help you?”. I think that, in one way or the other, this profession had gone into my DNA.
How did the idea for ofarmakopoiosmou.gr arise and materialize?
In the midst of the deep economic crisis that hit Greece, I was thinking about what I could do to help my pharmacy cope with, to withstand these difficult conditions we had. I considered the solution of the electronic pharmacy, as this would allow my business to grow, targeted across Greece and the world by overcoming the geographical obstacles. At that time, it was the period when the online pharmacy made its appearance in Greece timidly and we saw it as an opportunity, as a test. Naturally, then, nor did I have any idea what this choice would entail, and how much effort, energy, time, knowledge, and investment would require on my part. I discovered all this, gradually on the way.
Is it true that the Greeks are increasingly choosing online pharmacies and what is it that removes them from traditional tactics?
It is true that the behavior of Greek consumers has changed a lot in recent years, as long as one considers that Greece is the fourth country in the world in terms of the growth rate of e-commerce. Especially for e-pharmacies the growth rate is even greater, which shows that more and more people are choosing them to meet their needs in a multitude of product categories. According to research, the most important reasons for pushing them into electronic pharmacies are the best prices, the possibility of direct comparison of products, the variety of products that are not easily found in natural pharmacies, but also a very important factor, the lack of time. Of course, electronic pharmacies are not allowed to sell drugs, and that is the most important reason that we will all continue to need and cherish natural pharmacies.
What is the response of the buyers so far?
After 6 years of dealing with e-commerce, I have realized that what consumers most appreciate is seriousness, consistency and accountability. They understand and perceive opportunistic efforts, of course they exploit them, but they never remain faithful to those who do not earn their trust in trouble. It is essential to respect your customers and to be consistent both in delivery times and in a valid and complete presentation of your products, of course the before and after sales services are services that are appreciated. Yet what is striking is the maturing of the consumer, both in the way he seeks and ends in what he will buy, but also in the mode of payment he chooses, and more and more choose only those online stores that guarantee security of their transactions and therefore we see a large increase in the choice of prepaid but also of credit card in recent years. Another fact that can not be noticed is that consumers are now quite mature to pay great attention not only to the purchase price of the products they choose but also to the other charges such as the cost of transport and the cost for the cash payment and take them very seriously before making their final choice.
What is the range of products the site offers?
ofarmakopoiosmou.gr currently has more than 22,000 codes and is probably the e-pharmacy with the largest range of products in Greece.
Why should anyone prefer ofarmakopoiοsmou.gr instead of going to the pharmacy of his neighborhood?
At ofarmakopoiosmou.gr you will find anything that it is necessary for your personal care and health as well as products for the care of the whole family. Food supplements, cosmetics, make-up products, baby products, athletic products, electrical appliances, oral hygiene products, incontinence and supermarket products are some of the product categories that one can find in us, of course at the best prices and with a click on his doorstep.
What is your opinion ofarmakopoiosmou.gr from other similar e-shops?
ofarmakopoiosmou.gr has proved that it is not just another online pharmacy that all it has to offer is good prices and offers. What I have been trying to inspire from the beginning to my colleagues, is that we exist to meet the needs of the people who need us, and for this reason I invest all the years in the specialized staff who will be able to advise responsibly and provide solutions. Our view is customer-centric and therefore we never stop developing and offering new services, but also easier and more comfortable navigating in the website so that everyone can effortlessly find and buy what they need. Everyday we look for ways to get closer to our customers and listen to their needs, but even their difficulties and complaints in order to improve and evolve. What everyone would like to have in mind for ofarmakopoiosmou.gr is that it is not an inanimate and remote electronic shopping environment but a living organism that exists and is activated to meet their needs and has dreams, goals, social sensitivities, hope and soul, the soul of all those who have worked and still work for ofarmakopoiosmou.gr.
How important is the recent investment of the installations and software you have done to ensure that your customers enjoy the best possible services?
It is true that the people trust us and follow faithfully ofarmakopoiosmou.gr from the beginning of its course. This fact made us feel obliged to offer them the best possible. We have been studying for a long time the choices we had and we concluded that it was necessary to make a big investment in both modern facilities and state-of-the-art software. So now we have a 2,000 sq.m. area in order to optimally store the products we are storing and distributing, and software programs that allow us to implement all the logistics procedures required for the proper and efficient management of such a large coding as ours. I know we are the first in the field of e-pharmacy that we have made such a large investment and I think that our choice will justify us, as it will greatly improve the service of our customers by further reducing the delivery time of their order, creating an almost infallible image of our actual stocks and ensuring the quality and excellent maintenance of the products.
How important is it for you to communicate directly and create a relationship of trust with the client?
As I previously said, the satisfaction of our client is for us the beginning and end of all our efforts. Our physical pharmacy store has taught us for decades how the most important thing is to communicate and build trust relationships with people who choose us to help them find a solution to their problem. This is our philosophy in our electronic pharmacy also, and we try to follow it using all the available means that will bring us closer to the people who choose us. So, we never stop opening channels of communication, such as our call center that runs from 8:00am to 8:00pm everyday, our emails that are open to every question to the audience, Messenger chat where we can we accept and respond to their queries at any time, but also systems of evaluation through which we give them every opportunity to express our satisfaction or complaint and to help us improve.
What are the delivery times for your customers in Greece?
Delivery time within Greece is 1-2 business days if it is not an inaccessible area, while for Europe 1-5 working days and outside Europe 1-7 working days. Of course, we have to mention the service that we have only for shipments within Attica called “Express Shipping” and if one of them chooses it, he can receive his order within 3 hours!
What is your vision?
My vision is ofarmakopoiosmou.gr, an innovative online pharmacy, to create relationships of trust with those who choose it, and make life easier and more enjoyable to themselves and their loved ones every single day.
Mr. Gerasimos Triantafyllas, making the biggest investment in pharmacies to date in Greece, has created the online store ofarmakopoiosmou.gr, which is in full readiness to become “Your Pharmacist”, your personal consultant and your favorite destination where you can enjoy and easily get all the necessary products for you and your family.