Milk Bottle Labs success stories: Meagher’s Pharmacy

During the Covid-19 pandemic, ecommerce sales surged as more people looked online for services and products they would usually buy in person. As a result, more stores started trading online than ever before; leaving current ecommerce traders with more competition. Oonagh O’Hagan, Managing Director of Meagher’s Pharmacy, knows this struggle all too well; since 2014, the store’s online service has supported customers across Ireland, but more needed to be done to maintain their leading position in the Irish pharmacy market.

We spoke to Oonagh about Meagher’s Pharmacy's online struggles, their USP, and how Milk Bottle Labs helped them achieve their ecommerce goals.


Since 2001, Oonagh O’Hagan has been the owner and Managing Director of Meagher’s Pharmacy, and has constantly been looking for new ways to expand the brand and solve problems for their customers. After years of being asked when the pharmacy was going to offer a click and collect service, they bit the bullet in 2014 and haven’t looked back since. At this time, even retail giant Boots didn’t have an ecommerce presence in Ireland. Soon after, customers were then asking for a delivery service from their trusted pharmacy. Meagher’s then entered yet another ecommerce phase, but it wasn’t without its challenges.

We were on the Magento platform, but everything was very clunky. We needed development on the back end, because everything was so slow,” Oonagh tells us. “We were receiving more traffic from customers all over the country, but the user experience wasn’t where we wanted it to be, we needed to improve the functionality.”

Meagher’s knew they had to change to a completely new ecommerce platform, otherwise their site would become “defunct.” In November 2018, a week before Black Friday, Meagher’s decided to move over to Shopify and work with Shopify agency Milk Bottle Labs after being convinced of their ecommerce expertise and values.

“We could see early on that (Milk Bottle Lab’s) vision and values were very much aligned with ours”

“We were meeting with different experts, but we really jelled with Milk Bottle Labs. They seemed like a very agile team, very dynamic and very ambitious. They could see the potential for a high growth journey, so we partnered with them in November 2018, and we’ve been a client ever since. They bring a heightened level of expertise that we don’t have at present.”

Oonagh O'Hagan, Managing Director, Meaghers Pharmacy Group

“We could see early on that (Milk Bottle Lab’s) vision and values were very much aligned with ours. We were meeting with different experts, but we really jelled with Milk Bottle Labs.

Integrations and Brexit; overcoming challenges

After joining Milk Bottle Labs and completing their Shopify migration, Meagher’s Pharmacy began to see real positive change with their website. However, Oonagh tells us that they were still facing challenges.

“We have a loyalty scheme for our in-store customers, as customer acknowledgement and reward are really important to us,” Oonagh says. “We have struggled to get this loyalty scheme integrated into Shopify; we were giving up hope, but we have discovered that it is finally possible, and this is certainly in our roadmap now to allow our online customers to receive rewards just like our in-store customers”.

Oonagh also mentioned how Brexit has presented itself as a great hurdle for Meagher’s. The pharmacy has been looking at providing their products for people within the UK, however, Brexit makes this difficult due to customs charges and higher expectations around delivery times with many UK competitors offering “same day delivery”. We asked whether these challenges are within the remit of Milk Bottle Labs.

“Definitely,” Oonagh confirms. “They are constantly bringing solutions to the table, and they’ve also helped us improve our customer experience on the site in terms of speed and functionality. They understand the importance of not only back-end functionality, but the customer journey on the site too. We look forward to working with them on a number of new projects to further improve our customer experience throughout 2023.”

To find out how Milk Bottle Labs can help you with your Shopify journey, do not hesitate to get in with a Shopify expert today.


Working with the best Shopify agency; what you can achieve

Since joining forces with Milk Bottle Labs, Meagher’s Pharmacy’s ecommerce journey and Shopify store has gone from strength to strength, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our returning customer rate is over 60%, and Milk Bottle Labs have been instrumental in that. They made sure that the journey for anyone coming back onto the site is seamless.”

During the pandemic, a lot of new competitors entered the pharmacy market; there were over one hundred new registrations of pharmacy websites alone, so Meagher’s Pharmacy knew they had to work hard to stay ahead of the curve. Oonagh notes that the speed at which they scaled during the pandemic was one of their most significant achievements, and Milk Bottle Labs were greatly influential in this and proved to be a helpful Shopify agency.

 “We knew we had to stay ahead, and Milk Bottle Labs helped us achieve this...Our average order value is up 20% year on year. Our returning customer rate is highly important to us, as we want our customers to keep coming back. The team at Milk Bottle are equally obsessed with this KPI.”

Choosing Milk Bottle Labs

When deciding whether or not to choose Milk Bottle Labs as their Shopify experts, for Meagher’s Pharmacy, it was a no-brainer.

“Milk Bottle Labs came on our radar as the number one Shopify experts in Ireland, and after the first meeting, we just clicked,” Oonagh tells us. “They could see the potential, and they brought Shopify knowledge from across the globe. They were the one agency that stood out to us.” Oonagh testifies.

“They were definitely the Shopify experts in Ireland, and I would say they still probably are. It was a no- brainer to partner with them”

O’Hagan describes the Milk Bottle team as “proactive”, highlighting their understanding of the industry and willingness to get ahead. They’ve been helping the pharmacy proactively to retain the customers that mean so much to them.

Milk Bottle Labs have been “instrumental” in Meagher’s Pharmacy’s journey to keep their loyal customer base by improving the website in both subtle and profound ways. They make is easier for shoppers to find what they need and make a hassle-free purchase. Moreover, they have been involved in creating a positive post-purchase experience for the customer. 

“The team at Milk Bottle Labs always have us at the front of their minds when it comes to anything healthcare or beauty related...They come to our weekly and monthly meetings with everything mapped out, bringing fresh expertise to our team.” We view them as an extension of our team. They’re very friendly, and we could even (and often do) go out for a drink with them.” O’Hagan comments.

After working with Milk Bottle Labs for so long, Oonagh says she would happily recommend them, and she couldn’t see Meagher’s Pharmacy working with any other Shopify agency. She describes them as “responsive, agile and adaptable,” and that Milk Bottle want nothing more than to see the pharmacy succeed and to travel that journey with them. The agency’s customer service is second to none, and they are constantly striving to see every single one of their clients thrive on Shopify.

If you would like to become a Milk Bottle Labs success story, get in touch with a member of our friendly team today.