Simone Grapini-Goodman describes her career in three distinct chapters. First she served as marketing executive for a Fortune 10 healthcare company, then on to academia where she worked for University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy Institute for Innovation.
In her third chapter, over the last two years she stepped into the startup landscape and built a brand from the ground up in the online pharmacy space. Her extensive healthcare career has given her insight in using analytics to learn, optimize and offer a better digital experience to customers.
Grapini-Goodman is now CMO at DiRx (Direct+Rx), an early-stage digital pharmacy platform enabling medication access and affordability. “The goal is to extend consumers direct from drug manufacturer prices for their medicine. This makes generic medicine more affordable to a greater number of people,” Grapini-Goodman says.
By leveraging digital experience analytics to better understand and help acquire new customers, DiRx has changed the way customers are engaging with their pharmacies. “We're trying to increase medicine access and affordability to people without insurance, or the underinsured.”
Glassbox, the company that provides digital experience analytics and data analysis to DiRx, is a sponsor of Simpler Media Group’s summer Digital Experience Summit event, which took place online Aug. 17-18. Grapini-Goodman presented the session, “DiRx’s Digital Journey to Provide Affordable Medication,” covering how DiRx has partnered with Glassbox to advance digital healthcare solutions.
The Digital Journey to Provide Affordable Medication
Simpler Media Group: What are customers’ biggest challenges when it comes to engaging with their pharmacies? How does DiRx address those challenges?
Simone Grapini-Goodman: We recently surveyed over a thousand people to understand their sentiments on researching and purchasing medication, and it is no surprise that the biggest challenges they mentioned fell into two categories — affordability and accessibility.
People continue to be concerned with high prescription costs, especially nowadays. Looking at the macroeconomic trends, they're having to save and potentially take away from essentials like groceries and gas in order to afford their medicine.
Accessibility can be an issue as well, especially for those that are in a pharmacy desert, or anyone with ability restrictions, who may not be able to easily leave their home. Our research indicates that cost and dependable access to medicine are not mutually exclusive. Price was important to all respondents, but not if it meant compromising reliable access to their medication.
DiRx addresses these challenges by providing an online pharmacy platform. We have pharmacy licenses in 49 states, providing savings on commonly prescribed FDA-approved, generic medicine without the need for insurance. DiRx attempts to draw a straight line from supply to demand and streamline the path between drug manufacturers and consumers. The way our model functions allows us to lower costs, and because we’re online and available 24/7, we make medicine more accessible to more people.
SMG: How did you go about aligning organization goals to the digital customer experience?
Grapini-Goodman: In considering our operating principles of accessibility and fair pricing, when we unpacked those we asked ourselves, “What does this mean in terms of the way we operate?” While it may seem obvious, we figured out that we needed to create a simple and efficient experience.
We seek to understand customers’ experiences so we can remove obstacles, offer an uncluttered digital experience and provide better support. Customer service is very important to us. We launched a 24/7 customer care team because a lot of the populations that we serve work different hours. They don’t often have a standard 9 to 5 job or may work multiple jobs. So for the digital customer experience, it's not only what happens online, but what happens when you actually pick up the phone and you have an interaction with someone.
SMG: How did DiRx work with Glassbox to improve the digital customer experience?
Grapini-Goodman: At DiRx, we were trying to figure out how to get beyond data. I quickly realized after conversations with Glassbox that not only did they have the right platform and process, but they also had the right people to give us the insights about our data. That data leads to knowledge. And that's what accelerates us. We're an early-stage digital health company and need to get to knowledge quickly.
What I like about Glassbox is that we are able to see interactions at scale, but can also zoom in and look at any user’s individual experience. Overall, these types of insights are important because we no longer need to make assumptions around why someone may drop off our website. Other platforms may be able to provide the statistics, but we don't get the why. Glassbox gets us a lot closer to the why, and that's what we need to understand to be able to update the UI and provide a frictionless user experience.
SMG: How is DiRx using digital experience analytics? What metrics are particularly important to you?
Grapini-Goodman: Certainly we're looking at traffic volume, sources, and the relative engagement of those sources. We are looking to see how effective we are at driving visitors further down into the conversion funnel. Additionally, we look at how we may be able to get quality, higher volume traffic that we can successfully engage and ultimately convert. So we look at how different sources are getting through the funnel, all the way to order and checkout. We look at all these for desktop and mobile to see if there's a difference in behavior between the two. These are just some examples of what data is available, but there is much more.
While there are multiple analytic sources available, Glassbox gives us more value from those metrics. There’s a difference between data and actionable insights. For example, let's look at user statistics. Until we can really see the user experience, where they come from, why they drop or where they go on to, we won’t have a full understanding needed to optimize their engagement.
The analytics provided by Glassbox allow us to have a more holistic view of the customer journey. What was important was that we partner with a platform that allows us to act upon the data because otherwise, the data sits there and it can look wonderful, but it doesn't necessarily give insights or recommendations for optimizations. We sat through weekly sessions with our partners from Glassbox where they helped us interpret the data and translate it into actionable items to improve our users’ digital experience.
SMG: Are there any metrics that you once collected but didn’t find the value in? How do you evaluate the quality of your analytics?
Grapini-Goodman: When we began the dialogue with Glassbox, it helped to have a framework in terms of what was important for us to find out. Then we were able to develop custom reporting based on that. The planning process with Glassbox allowed us to articulate what was important so that we didn't have non-value information. It was helpful because we found success from the beginning.
SMG: What are some examples of the outcomes you’ve experienced as a result of your partnership with Glassbox? Are there any outcomes that surprised you or you weren’t expecting?
Grapini-Goodman: We were able to identify our customers’ ideal digital experience path and improve upon the deviations from that path. We wanted to review aggregate journeys but also wanted insights into individual customer sessions. We wanted to acquire diverse knowledge ranging from data based on device type but also based on a customer’s healthcare conditions. For example, should the experience be different for somebody going through a women's health category versus a diabetes category?
We also wanted to understand the search behavior on the site because that educates the inventory that we need. We were able to see struggles and drop off points. What I appreciate about the Glassbox platform is that they're much more granular. We are actually able to break down a user’s struggles, including rage clicks and dead clicks.
With guidance from our Glassbox partners, we upgraded the UI for our home page based on data from the analytics. Specifically, we looked at improving the efficiency of where people search for their medicine, making sure they can quickly see their prescribed dosage, and get to the price. So we actually removed some more intrusive elements on the home page that prevented people from accomplishing those primary actions. Additionally, we made some elements clickable because we saw a good amount of dead clicks. Users were assuming that some elements were clickable when they were not. Using those analytics, we made modifications to the homepage and saw a significant 30% decrease in struggles.
SMG: What was the last new subject you learned? What drove you to learn it?
Grapini-Goodman: Professionally speaking, I’ve been following the recent legislation that capped insulin costs. We have a diabetes category on DiRx, and we're trying to figure out how we can serve that population better. We've done quite a bit of research to understand the diabetic patient population. We want to know about them from a demographic and psychographic perspective, including education and income level, because we want to make sure that we offer the right diabetic medicine and aim to make a complicated condition a little bit easier to manage.
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