Will curbside pickup drive front-end sales at CVS?
Back in April, CVS announced it was making an investment in Curbside, a third-party service that delivers online orders of non-prescription products to the curbside at no additional charge. The company introduced the service to its customers, which it dubbed CVS Express. Recently, the drugstore chain made the decision to take the program chain-wide and business, according to reports, appears to be very healthy.
The initial chain-wide launch was Sept. 22, but CVS had to push back plans a week when response to the offer was so great that it brought the system to a crawl. Having made the necessary adjustments, CVS now offers curbside pickup at its stores (not including Target locations) across the country and is offering a $10 discount on orders of $20 or more for first-time users. Curbside sends a text message to customers when orders are ready for pickup, usually within an hour of being placed.
According to the Curbside site, offering its service increases monthly visits to stores 2.6 times while increasing new customers by 30 percent. Sixty-one percent of customers who use the service make a repeat purchase. According to a Forbes article, the service is seen as a competitive differentiator against rivals Rite-Aid and Walgreens, which do not offer curbside pickup.
As reported on RetailWire in June, Target made the decision to discontinue offering the Curbside service after making the determination that it made more sense for its business to focus on internal efforts including Cartwheel, in-store pickup and ship from store for online orders.
Target’s chief rival, Walmart, has invested heavily in its own click-and-collect efforts with a particular emphasis on driving grocery sales.
- CVS Express Curbside Pickup – CVS
- CVS Rolling Out Curbside Pickup After Target Rolls It Back In – PYMNTS.com
- CVS Goes All-In on Curbside Pickup – Forbes
- CVS pushes curbside pick-up service launch date – The Boston Globe
- CVS follows Target, offering curbside service – RetailWire
- Target kicks mobile pickup app to the curb – RetailWire
- Is Walmart on a roll – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How do you account for some retail chains aggressively pursuing click-and-collect programs while others are remaining hands-off? Will CVS’s curbside program give the chain a substantial edge over retail rivals, including drugstores, convenience stores, etc., that do not offer a similar service?