Getting to know the users of online pharmacies

Insights of the e-pharmacy market in the UK

User Shops E Pharmacies Titelbild

In recent years, the European market for e-pharmacies has developed rapidly, with the UK playing a leading role. The introduction of e-prescriptions and liberalised legislation have significantly expanded the market for online pharmacies, offering both opportunities and challenges. In this blogpost, we will investigate the current situation on the e-pharmacy market in the UK by taking a look at the top 10 e-pharmacies in this country as well as the role of their users.

The top 10 e-pharmacies in the UK 

Lloyds Pharmacy is leading the list of the top 10 e-pharmacies in the UK, followed by Savers, Superdrug, Boots and Chemist4u regarding data from 2023. The second part of the top 10 consists of The Independent Pharmacy, Pharmacy Online, Pharmica, simple online pharmacy and SimplyMeds. These e-pharmacies are characterised by high sales figures, high traffic on their websites and a strong presence on social media. Nevertheless, there are also differences regarding these factors:

  • The number of followers on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube) varies. Chemist4u, for example, has no followers on Facebook, while Boots is followed by around 1.3 million people on this platform.
  • Women mostly use the top 10 e-pharmacies, only Superdrug has a majority of male users (62 %).
  • The annual traffic for 2023 on the websites ranges from 2 million visitors (Pharmacy Online) to 26 million visitors (Lloyds Pharmacy)
SBI E-Pharmacy Study UK

Demographics and user behaviour in online pharmacies

Women mainly use the e-pharmacies in the UK. They make up 61% of annual users, who access these platforms primarily via mobile devices. The age group of 25 to 34 years dominates with 24%.

SBI E-Pharmacy Study UK 2

Entry channels and customer acquisition

Organic search queries on Google and direct search are the predominant methods when it comes to accessing e-pharmacies. At 62%, organic search is clearly ahead of direct search at 19%. This underlines the importance of strong SEO (search engine optimisation) and a direct and appealing user experience on the websites.

If this topic is related to the top 5 e-pharmacies, then the majority of these are reached via organic search.

  • Lloyds Pharmacy is the most dominant with 80%.
  • Superdrug follows with 73%.
  • For Savers, organic search accounts for 70%.
  • At Boots, organic search still holds 66%.
  • Chemist4U brings up the rear with 59%, but organic search is still the strongest.

Referrals and direct search hardly play a role for all five e-pharmacies in terms of entry channels. They account for a maximum of 20% of entry channels. If you take a look at the top 10 strongest e-pharmacies in the UK, only Pharmacia is the most dominant with paid search at 58%.

Strategic insights and recommendations for e-pharmacies

There are many ways to improve the online presence of e-pharmacies. These includes optimising product pages for search engines, improving visibility through targeted advertising and using data analytics tools, such as Smile Analytics to track performance and improve customer targeting. The digital pharmacy business in the UK offers significant opportunities for growth. With a strategically sound approach based on detailed market analyses and advanced data strategies, e-pharmacies are able to expand successfully in this sector while providing consumers with convenient and efficient solutions. The study of Smile BI provides more details regarding the situation of the e-pharmacy market in the UK as well as predicitons of the future and how to prepare for it.


  • Big player: The UK leads the rapidly growing European e-pharmacy market, enhanced by e-prescriptions and more liberal laws.
  • Strength and diversity: Lloyds Pharmacyis the leader of the UK's top 10 e-pharmacies. Savers and Boots also show strong sales as well as a significant online presence.
  • Diversity among the e-pharmacies: Social media presence and demographics vary among the top 10 e-pharmacies. Boots, for example, has a a big follower base, while the majority of users across the platforms are female.
  • Web traffic: Among the top e-pharmacies in the UK, this factor ranges significantly. The range starts at 2 million to 26 million visitors annually, indicating varying levels of user engagement.
  • Entry channels: Organic search is the primary method of accessing the UK’s top 10 e-pharmacies, with Lloyds Pharmacy gaining 80% of its traffic this way. Paid and direct searches are less significant.
  • Strategic improvements: Search engine optimization (SEO), targeted advertising, and data analytics are recommended to boost growth and efficiency in this sector.

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