Valassis Data Informs Drugstores on How to Engage Millennials & Parents

Opportunity to Influence Purchases Beyond Prescriptions is in Understanding Consumer Behavior

LIVONIA, Mich.--()--Valassis, the leader in marketing technology and consumer engagement, today released new research and strategies for marketers to drive drugstore visits and spend. Based on consumer insights, in-market signals and past purchases, drugstores can strategically connect with consumers, especially millennials and parents.

Today, drugstores compete with discount, grocery, club stores and online pharmacies for prescription and other purchases. The research, based on a survey of more than 1,700 consumers, found that overall, 83% of consumers shopped at drugstores for items other than prescriptions within the past year – 87% of millennials – but only 14% did so frequently as part of a routine. With the right understanding of intent and promotion, drugstores can increase trips and influence purchase behavior with shoppers already in store, based on predictive intelligence.

Respondents ranked sales events and promotions as the number one way they can be enticed to visit a drugstore they don't usually frequent. Additionally:

  • 73% of millennial parents, 68% of parents and 58% of millennials said they would shop at drugstores more often if they offered them more discounts and coupons.
  • 61% of millennial parents, 56% of parents and 50% of millennials indicate they would shop more at drugstores that build relationships with them through personalized offers.
  • 56% of those surveyed said lower prices would increase their purchase of beauty items at drugstores.
    • 31% would increase beauty purchases at drugstores if they receive coupons/discounts in an online store circular; 20% cite beauty offers received in a printed circular.
    • 15% would buy more beauty items at drugstores based on personalized offers for beauty products that match their style and taste.

Of higher importance to millennials when selecting a drugstore for an item other than a prescription, are locations open 24-hours, digital deals, proximity to work and a selection of natural/holistic products.

“Millennial parents are a prime target audience for drugstores, and with rich insights, drugstores can effectively cater to what matters most to this audience,” said Julie Companey, director, grocery, drug & mass marketing, Valassis. “This shopper is more likely to plan a shopping trip as well as make an impulse buy. They are also highly influenced by multichannel promotions as 67% like when they receive online and offline offers, and interestingly, 55% would switch drugstores if they stopped receiving a printed circular from the drugstore they typically frequent.”

Key findings include:

  • Beauty and gifting drive drugstore trips (among those who shop drugstores for items other than prescriptions)
    • 81% buy their beauty items at drugstores, higher than from Amazon, discount and specialty beauty stores.
    • 77% buy greeting or gift cards at a drugstore.
      • 35% will make a special trip to a drugstore for this purchase.
  • Millennial impulse buying is an opportunity
    • 63% of millennial parents said once they are in a drugstore, they make a lot of impulse purchases.
      • 53% of parents and 50% of millennials are more likely to make an impulse buy compared to 33% of those surveyed.
  • Drugstore shoppers plan ahead
    • 73% of those who shop at drugstores for items other than prescriptions do some type of planning before shopping, largely with coupons and circulars – both in print and online – as well as with shopping lists.
  • Wellness programs draw consumers into drugstores
    • 7 in 10 parents have used an in-store service (pharmacy consultation, vaccinations, clinics, home delivery, health screenings and more).
    • 47% of millennial parents and 44% of millennials are likely to use pharmacist consultation services vs. 35% of all consumers.

The research also found that for consumers who fill prescriptions at drugstores, location close to home and the convenience of multiple locations are among the top influencers when selecting a drugstore. Location is also the no. 1 driver of non-prescription shopping at drugstores, followed by deals.

For more insights from this survey, visit In addition, learn more about how consumers can compare prescription prices and get coupons at local pharmacies with RxSaver.

About the study

The Valassis Awareness-to-Activation Study is an ongoing study fielded in conjunction with The NPD Group, Inc., a global market research company. The sample was derived via an online survey and all participants were at least 18 years of age and living in the contiguous United States. Approximately 10,000 respondents are surveyed annually. The specific data included in this report is from the research wave fielded July 26 through Sept. 27, 2019 to over 1,700 respondents and is balanced by age and gender to U.S. Census demographic profiles. Valassis generation age segmentation classifies millennials as born between 1981 and 1996.

About Valassis

Valassis is the leader in marketing technology and consumer engagement. We work with over 60,000 companies and brands in a wide array of industries, partnering to anticipate consumer intent, inspire action, and create demand. NCH Marketing Services, Inc. and Clipper Magazine are Valassis subsidiaries, and RetailMeNot Everyday™ is its consumer brand. Its signature Have You Seen Me?® program delivers hope to missing children and their families. Valassis is a Vericast business. Follow Valassis on LinkedIn and Twitter.


Mary Broaddus
734 591-7375

Release Summary

Valassis released new research and strategies for marketers to drive drugstore visits and spend.


Mary Broaddus
734 591-7375