CVS revs up omni-channel for the holiday season
Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the Retail TouchPoints website.
CVS is reaffirming its position as a top holiday destination by providing stocking stuffers, gift cards, décor, gift wrap and last-minute gifts, acting as a one-stop-shop for customers. But like many retailers, the pharmacy is also working on optimizing its omni-channel reach.
"Our physical stores are only one piece of the puzzle, and we have put a lot of thought around the behaviors and habits of customers who may prefer to browse or research online before coming into the store, while others are more likely to leverage digital technology while actually standing in the store itself," said Erin Pensa, director of public relations at CVS. "For us it’s about connecting with our customers to deliver content that is meaningful, relevant and at the right time, in the channel they prefer."
On Thanksgiving Day in 2013, online traffic increased 21 percent over 2012. At its peak at 10 p.m. on the holiday, mobile traffic reached 9.2 million page views per minute. Ms. Pensa added, "We expect this trend to continue as more shoppers look to easily and conveniently make purchases before or after their Thanksgiving Day meals."
As a result, digital and mobile features are being improved to enhance the in-store experience over the holiday period.
"MyWeekly Ad, a personalized digital circular, is a great example of this," Ms. Pensa said. "Shoppers can easily browse weekly deals personalized with what they buy most — and those we might recommend for them — and can also build a digital shopping list featuring the deals they’d like to take advantage of each week."
Shopping lists are personalized to CVS/pharmacy locations consumers shop at most, and tell them where they can find products in each store.
In 2013, more than 335 million personalized offers were issued between Nov. 10 and Dec. 28 via its ExtraCare loyalty program. Both in-store and digitally, the offers will be more personalized and targeted this year.
"We’ve also been making it easier for our customers to send those offers digitally to their rewards cards, whether it be from their computer at home or on an iPad or smartphone while they’re on the go, so they can take advantage of those personalized deals without having to carry paper," said Ms. Pensa.
A Ship & Save online program, which allows shoppers to receive timed deliveries, was also recently rolled out.
"Consumers never have to worry about running out and always enjoy 20 percent off plus free shipping," Ms. Pensa said. "They can enroll items marked ‘Ship & Save Eligible’ and choose the delivery, frequency and quantity. Consumers can also easily change or cancel an order online anytime."
What’s unique about coordinating omni-channel tactics over the holiday selling season versus other times of the year? Which practices — digital circulars/shopping lists, digital store maps, in-store personalized offers, in-store pickup, etc. — will be expected by consumers this coming holiday season?