The highly configurable nature of digital technology allows retailers to interact with customers whenever, wherever and however they care to shop. To better satisfy consumers during the holiday season, CVS/Pharmacy is leveraging new and existing digital strategies to increase shopper convenience, as well as extend and enhance the in-store experience.
CVS/Pharmacy shoppers now can access a new, customized digital sales circular designed to speed and enhance omnichannel shopping. Called myWeekly Ad, the feature highlights current sales on products users buy most often. The digital tool provides shoppers with a quick way to find the deals most relevant to them, without having to hunt through the entire sales flyer.
Available on mobile devices and through CVS.com, the personalized myWeekly Ad deals are based on purchase history tied to a shopper’s CVS/Pharmacy ExtraCare loyalty card. Users click on the “Deals on Things You Buy” tab to see current sales on frequently purchase items, or browse category listings to see other products on sale at their myCVS stores.
“myWeekly Ad features are appealing to bargain-hunters who want to know what’s on sale, as well as time-strapped shoppers who want to quickly and easily see holiday sales on items that appeal to them most,” said Brian Tilzer, SVP and Chief Digital Officer for CVS/Pharmacy, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “These features will be especially useful on peak seasonal shopping periods such as Black Friday week.”
Consumers shopping for gifts, stocking stuffers, décor, gift wrap, gift cards and other holiday merchandise can visit myWeekly Ad before their in-store shopping trips to maximize their savings. Moreover, they can create a shopping list at home then carry it with them via their mobile devices once in the store. Users also can subscribe to email notifications that alert them to new offers.
Mobile Gets A Voice
CVS/Pharmacy also recently added a mobile voice recognition feature, Tilzer said. Using the voice-enabled technology, users can speak to refill prescriptions, get information on prescriptions and drug interactions, navigate to other departments within the app ― such as MinuteClinic or ExtraCare ― and sign in or out of their accounts.
“During the holiday season, we expect many of our shoppers will appreciate the conveniences offered across our digital platforms, including the voice functionality on the iPad app, a digital circular that lets them browse personalized sales and preview the deals waiting for them, and the ability to easily manage prescriptions for multiple members of their households,” Tilzer stated. “With these features, customers will only need to make one stop at a CVS/pharmacy to pick up prescriptions as they’re running around doing all their gift shopping and holiday traveling.”
In addition, “all season long we will be offering contests, exclusive deals and giveaways on Facebook and Twitter to keep customers engaged and excited about CVS/pharmacy and all that we have going on,” said Tilzer. Today the company has more than 1.2 million community members on Facebook and more than 132,000 followers on Twitter. “We will continue to encourage our customers to follow along for the latest deals, including opportunities to win gifts and gift cards. Stay tuned for our social promotions at Facebook.com/CVS and Twitter.com/CVS_Extra.”
Mobile Visits Nearly Triple
Last year “more than a million customers each month visited CVS.com from a tablet, and those numbers continue to grow rapidly,” Tilzer reported. Overall, “mobile web site visits have nearly tripled over the past year.”
In March 2013, CVS/Pharmacy launched an interactive iPad app to further boost mobile customer engagement, as previously reported by Retail TouchPoints. The app uses 3D realism to provide users with the virtual reality of visiting a CVS store. Since that time, Tilzer reported, “we have seen a two-time faster rate of download and adoption of the iPad app, compared to our mobile app launch.”
CVS/Pharmacy customers “really want a consistent experience across all channels,” Tilzer continued. “They want to switch back and forth between their iPads, smartphones and laptops without missing a beat ― so we’ve given customers the ability to use one unified login. Now, no matter which device customers use to connect with us, they can access the information they need about their ExtraCare account, prescription information and more, all from the same secure login.”
In addition, “we know consumers use devices at different points during the customer experience,” said Tilzer. “For example, smartphones often are used while in the brick-and-mortar store: Therefore, the CVS mobile app lets customers store their ExtraCare card information right on their phones then use it at the register or even at our Coupon Center kiosks.”
117 Million Holiday Offers ― And Growing
With a 15-year history of shopper data and insights, the CVS ExtraCare program is the retailer’s primary vehicle for delivering more personalized offers and rewards to customers. “During last year’s holiday season, we issued 117 million personalized customer offers, and we expect that number to grow this year,” noted Tilzer. “Additionally, more of the offers and coupons ExtraCare members receive now can be sent digitally to their cards.”
CVS/Pharmacy is working to make all coupons and offers available for digital upload to customers’ ExtraCare cards. The company also is introducing apps for other tablet platforms, and adding more interactive pharmacy features and resources for customers.
More than five million customers shop the 7,500 CVS/Pharmacy brick-and-mortar retail stores every day. “So while we are certainly improving our digital and mobile shopping features,” said Tilzer, “at the end of the day we’re really using these digital channels to extend and enhance the in-store experience ― and to make it easier for customers to refill prescriptions, so they can make the most of their time when they stop in for their medications and to shop ― during this holiday season and throughout the year.”