Merchant Innovation

CVS Makes Curbside Omnichannel-Focused Investment

CVS

No matter what kind of shopper they are, consumers are spending more time than ever on their phones. It makes sense, then, that no matter what kind of business they are, retailers should focus on mobile, too.

That’s exactly what CVS did by announcing on Tuesday (April 19) that it had invested an undisclosed amount into Curbside, a startup specializing in mobile ordering and fulfillment support. Helena Foulkes, executive vice president of CVS Health and president of CVS Pharmacy, explained that even neighborhood pharmacy chains need to get on board with the mobile revolution or risk being left behind.

“Retail pharmacy is an exciting, competitive landscape that is ripe for digital innovation,” Foulkes said in a statement. “This partnership with Curbside allows CVS Health to offer new and more convenient ways for our customers to shop with us, ultimately making it easier for them to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in a way that works best for them.”

The partnership is aimed at streamlining how CVS’ customers interact with its physical stores, and trials conducted throughout 2015 proved that not only did the chain’s shoppers respond positively to the idea of collecting their orders without ever leaving their cars but it was popular enough to drive repeat usage in short windows.

“The thing that got us so excited about our initial pilots over the last summer — and that has continued — is that we see that over two-thirds of our customers who try it actually repeat usage of it in a very short period of time,” Brian Tilzer, chief digital officer of CVS Health, told TechCrunch. “Customers like it a lot.”

Branded as CVS Express, the service is running in targeted markets now and is expected to expand to all of CVS’ 9,600 stores by the end of the year.

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