News Feature | August 15, 2013

IPad App In The Works For CVS/Pharmacy

By Sam Lewis, associate editor
Follow Me On Twitter @TheSJLewis

CVS Storefront

New mobile initiative will give shoppers a personalized experience

Executives from CVS/Pharmacy attended eTail East (a yearly conference held for online and multichannel retail industry senior level marketers and executives) this week, saying the company is exploring new mobile options. At the conference’s “Transforming Customer Experience through Digital and Omni-channel Innovation” keynote session, a company executive explained plans to embrace innovation as a way to distinguish its standard of service through online and mobile channels. The retailer’s representative also discussed how digital innovations can empower customers, giving them valuable information that allows customers to take charge of their shopping experience.

The company also discussed its new iPad app, which creates a 3D model of an actual CVS store. The app lets users browse through aisles of a virtual store, clicking on red plus signs, which indicate particular items. When a red plus sign is clicked, a detailed item description is given. “It wasn’t being done elsewhere, but we had some good insight that said this is a good way for customers to navigate online. We’re exploring that,” said Brian Tilzer, senior vice president and chief digital officer of CVS Caremark.

Feedback was mixed regarding the new app. Customers interested in strictly browsing really will get the full experience of it, and can appreciate the aesthetics of the mobile application. However, customers who are interested in making quick purchases don’t necessarily want to navigate through aisles to find items. Repeat customers would much rather have the items they want made quickly, easily, and readily available.

According to Tilzer, CVS/Pharmacy expects to eventually reach a point where both sets of customers can be happy with the app. Customers looking to browse can have the 3D aisle-browsing personalized experience, while customers that know their desired items can experience a simple in-and-out version of the app.

Currently, the retailer has an app for iPhone and Android devices that allow customers to access features like pharmacy services, shopping, photo, MinuteClinic, and the loyalty and rewards program ExtraCare. A more recent addition to CVS/Pharmacy’s online presence is the drug information center, providing customers information about medicines, correct dosages, and how different drugs interact with one another.

CVS/Pharmacy believes that by embracing and furthering its digital footprint, customers can save time and money, and also eliminate some of the inconveniences of the shopping experience. By using digital and mobile, CVS/Pharmacy’s customers are quickly given desired information without the inconveniences of brick-and-mortar stores. “Mobile is revolutionizing all of our business in many ways,” Tilzer said. “Ultimately, we think we can help our customers lead healthier lives.”

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