Discount Drug Stores is launching an e-commerce platform that will allow its franchises to concentrate on developing a superior relationship with their customers.

Discount Drug Stores is giving each individual pharmacy an e-commerce website that will be specifically developed by technology brand Pharmacy4u. This will mean local customers will be able to shop online from their local Discount Drug Store.

The project is the first stage of the businesses’ franchise plan to help boost profits and lead over its competitors.

Douglas Kuskopf-Dallas, Discount Drug Stores general manager, said the company’s priority is capturing the growing market of consumers shopping online.

“Every Discount Drug Store has a very loyal customer base and they like to talk to and seek advice from their local pharmacist,” he said. “Through this new system, we will be able to communicate even more broadly with our customers while still giving them the ability to maintain or start a relationship with their local Discount Drug Store.”

Recent study from Frost and Sullivan predicts online spending will grow at least twice as fast as the total retail market will over the next four years, putting bricks and mortar retailers in a position to combat against online retailers.

“Local businesses are finding it harder and harder to complete against the large online stores,” Kuskopf-Dallas said. “This system solves the problem by enhancing the business of each individual store and ensuring our owners don’t have to compete with a centralised e-commerce site.”

Whilst offering all of Discount Drug Stores health, beauty, medical and lifestyle product lines, the new site will also provide customers with a forum in which they can ask and obtain for health information and advice. It will also give consumers the ability to monitor and purchase their prescriptions online with email or SMS reminders sent to notify them of when they must refill their medications.

“It will be a one stop shop that will be incredibly convenient for our customers,” Kuskopf-Dallas said. “It will ensure that they’re receiving quality health care services and products despite being time poor, living in an isolated area or hindered by illness.”

Already in its beta stage, Discount Drug Stores’ e-commerce site will officially launch early this year.