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Case Study: Boosting Pharmacy Sales with Mobile App

29 Apr

Global Online Pharmacy Market is expected to witness drastic growth over the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdown and travel restrictions, along with the fear of getting infected with the SARS-CoV2 virus, led to an increased dependence on online pharmacies for the purchase of both over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

According to a Facts and Factors market research study, the demand analysis of market size & share revenue was estimated at approximately USD 69.25 Billion in 2020 and is expected to generate revenue of around USD 210.35 Billion by the end of 2028, growing at a CAGR of around 17.83% between 2021 and 2028.

About the Project

Here, we will talk about a wide network of pharmacies that has its own iOS and Android mobile applications. The apps have been on the market for a while, and the client is well aware of the ecosystem of purchasing traffic and attracting customers.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic that drastically accelerated the growth of the online pharmaceutical market, Zorka.Agency was tasked with increasing the number of in-app sales.

KPIs and Objectives

Since the app had been in the stores for several years, the client’s in-house team had already used all the basic user acquisition mechanics, including classic traffic sources like Meta, Instagram and Google. Besides, several other agencies were working on the promotion of the app in parallel with the client’s in-house team.

Zorka.Agency was tasked with finding traffic sources that would further increase client’s orders and had not yet been tested. Given that the client was well versed in user acquisition, understood their sales funnel and economic model well, we had very clear KPIs:

  • We used CPI pricing model;
  • $2 CPI for iOS and $1.7 for Android;
  • CR from install to purchase — minimum 10%;
  • We did not get paid for fraud traffic;
  • If fraud traffic for a source exceeded 15%, the source was disabled;
  • We used AppsFlyer to track traffic.

Besides, we had a limited budget for all advertising campaigns. We mainly launched our campaigns in autumn and winter, which is the peak season of medications demand. At the same time, the overall budget was shared between other agencies and the client’s in-house team.

Launching Campaigns

Prior to launching advertising campaigns, we identified a list of traffic sources that had not yet been used. These were the sources that:

  • were launched by the client’s in-house team;
  • were launched by other agencies;
  • were banned due to high fraud rates.

Such restrictions significantly narrowed the list of potential user acquisition channels. Given the rather strict KPIs, the task seemed unconventional to say the least, which is why we decided to use several rare categories of traffic sources for the launch:

  • OEM sources;
  • trust in-app sources;
  • alternative app stores.

We took several factors into account when choosing the sources:

  • nearly zero fraud traffic;
  • they had to be suitable for working with E-commerce;
  • the source had to have little popularity in the market while being highly efficient.

We then selected certain sources within each group that were most suitable for the client’s business tasks. Before launching campaigns, we always discussed KPIs with representatives of advertising platforms in person in order to see the bigger picture and be confident in the results.

We ended up choosing Xoom, Xiaomi Ads and Appnext from the OEM group; as well as AdCounty and MAPerformance from in-app networks to start the project. We used ShareIt as an alternative app store, as it was the only platform that agreed to adapt to the described KPIs. ShareIt is a mobile app that allows you to share other apps between users skipping Google Play.


Online pharmacies are E-commerce projects with constant demand and high competition. People often choose one pharmacy that they like and stick to it for almost all their lives. Thus, to make our offer more appealing to users, it was important to come up with catchy creatives that would help us stand out from competitors. Following the strict rules of the brand book, we developed ads with the focus on:

  • ordering medicines and beauty products online;
  • shipping speed;
  • contactless delivery;
  • a wide range of products — you can buy all the necessary medicines that might not be available at the offline pharmacy point in the app;
  • discounts and promotions.

We have tried a total of over 100 creatives. Producing a large number of advertising banners and testing them instantly allowed us to find working concepts and scale advertising campaigns much faster. The average CTR for our banner ads was 10%.


We tested a total of about 20 traffic sources in 3 months. Unfortunately, budget constraints did not allow reaching the maximum number of orders, but the results still look very worthy:

The data includes repeat purchasing

As indicated in the table, iOS traffic accounts for about 5% of the total installs. This has to do with the new Apple policy on App Tracking Transparency and difficulties in optimizing campaigns.

Evaluating the overall results, we can say that we successfully carried out client’s advertising campaigns, taking into account their KPIs, requests and budget. The first thing that helped us ensure good results was operational testing of a large number of sources, as well as launching OEM sites and scaling them actively. These sources demonstrated the highest CR per order.

Are you ready to launch campaigns to promote your app? Get in touch ?