U.S. drug stores by are ramping up their ability to personalize the health care and shopping experience for customers across digital and in-store channels. They’re well-positioned for it: all the major retailers have loyalty programs, and studies have shown that shoppers buy from various categories at these retailers.
But there’s room for drug stores to improve their personalization and customer engagement. With the right technology, U.S. drug store retailers can leverage the advantages they already enjoy to turbocharge their personalization efforts.
Using loyalty programs to engage shoppers
Eagle Eye recently commissioned a survey of consumers and loyalty program managers to assess the attitudes and strategies affecting retail loyalty worldwide; the data revealed that 33% of U.S. consumers joined new loyalty programs in 2022, and 57% of consumers worldwide used their loyalty points in 2022 to save money.
Increased loyalty program participation means more opportunities for drug store retailers to engage shoppers. Our survey found that 60% of consumers believe it is “very” or “extremely” important to receive offers from a store or a brand that are personalized to their needs. This preference is based on value: 84% of consumers believe receiving more personalized offers should help them save money. The drug store loyalty program can be integral to helping shoppers achieve that goal. The loyalty program also can be instrumental to create more customized interactions with their customers.
Retailers have started to combine personalization and gamification to great effect. Personalization ensures the loyalty experience is relevant and gamification adds elements of fun and interactivity that boost engagement. Rite Aid has moved first with the addition of BonusCash Challenges to its rewards loyalty program. Personalized challenges reward loyalty members for purchasing more of their favorite brands, and those challenges are delivered in a digital format that encourages members to customize their experience.
The power of subscription services
While curbside pickup and delivery have expanded significantly, true subscription services at U.S. drug stores and grocery retailers are relatively limited. Major U.S. grocers have bypassed the subscription model in favor of building out their full-featured, free-to-join loyalty programs and digital click-and-collect capabilities.
But there are more widespread subscription programs overseas that drive value for customers and revenue for retailers. One is Woolworths Everyday Extra program in Australia, which has more than 250,000 active subscribers since its launch in Q1. Unlike other retail subscription programs, it offers recurring benefits to in-store and online shoppers. For an annual fee of $59, subscribers receive 10% off one shop each month and other perks.
Brad Banducci, CEO of Woolworths Group, explained at NRF’s Retail Big Show that the entire Woolworths ecosystem is connected, which helps the retailer improve its demand planning and better understand varied consumer segments across different channels.
Exploring new frontiers in retail personalization
By expanding the capabilities of their loyalty programs, creating new membership and subscription options and exploring new techniques, drug stores can achieve the level of personalization they need to thrive. With robust foot traffic numbers, healthy sales growth and a customer base that views drug stores as convenient one-stop shops, U.S. drug stores should be pressing their advantage and pursuing advanced personalization strategies to turn their current shoppers into fully engaged, loyal customers for life.