PHARMACY

ExtraCare strikes back

BY Michael Johnsen

CVS/pharmacy certainly is the leader in terms of how to translate reams of shopper data into programs that drive profitable results. It’s been at it for almost 15 years, and its 70 million active cardholders makes for the largest loyalty program in retail pharmacy.

In a major nod to the program’s success, 67% of CVS transactions and 82% of all front-store sales are tied to ExtraCare, and card members buy 85% more items per trip versus nonmembers.

ExtraCare also is enabling CVS to evolve its circular program, which has been negatively impacted by the drop in newspaper circulation in recent years. CVS will reduce circular pages over time, shifting those dollars into digital promotions through ExtraCare. The retailer is currently piloting a personalized circular program that tailors customized offers based on front-store purchasing history.

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PHARMACY

A new hope

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens is the newest to jump into the loyalty game. Still, its Balance Rewards managed to sign up 16 million members within just two weeks of its mid-September launch.

In many ways, Balance Rewards represents some of the best thinking in customer loyalty. There’s a better-health incentive linked to the Walk with Walgreens program. There are complementary health offerings tied to participation. It is mobile-enabled and ties into its multichannel strategy. Points don’t expire. And the data from the program will help inform every facet of Walgreens’ business.

Look for learnings from the Alliance Boots loyalty program to help shape the program going forward — several aspects of the Advantage program would be unique here in the United States, particularly how it ties in with Boots’ holiday and beauty business.

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PHARMACY

CACDS show includes prescription-ordering kiosk

BY Alaric DeArment

TORONTO — Industry leaders at an annual retail pharmacy conference in Canada got a look at a kiosk that allows patients to order prescription drugs through an Internet connection.

TCE Group announced the introduction of its Pharma Kiosk, or PK+ terminal at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores in Toronto.

"Many of the high-level leaders we spoke to during the conference embraced this type of industry change by using technology to increase customers’ confidence," TCE Group president Amr Bannis said. "Many influential leaders understand that customers are so busy with work and other family obligations, it is often difficult to find the time to stand in line at traditional pharmacies and wait while their prescriptions are being filled."

The kiosk is designed to be located at any site, including such remote locations as office towers and shopping malls.

"By offering a PK+ terminal on site where customers work or shop, drug stores can offer yet another way to help them save time and money by filling their prescriptions via PK+ and receiving related healthcare services and information," Bannis said.


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