CVS is trying to make it so you can drive to your local store and pick up what you need without ever getting out of your car.
On Monday, the drug store company will expand its curbside service, CVS Curbside Pickup, from 361 locations to more than 4,100 stores across the US.
With CVS Curbside Pickup, which partners with the app Curbside to receive, prep, and deliver orders, customers can pick up products outside of stores about an hour after placing orders through the CVS App.
The free service is aimed at customers craving convenience, and it has already found fans in millennial parents, according to CVS’s chief digital officer Brian Tilzer.
According to Tilzer, in the six months of testing the service, every month, the number of people using CVS Curbside Pickup increased by 50%, and more than half of those who tried Curbside have used it again. These figures helped convince CVS to expand the program across the country.
“I think it’s really a first to have a curbside pickup program deployed nationwide, at this many locations,” Curbside CEO says Jaron Waldman. “The CVS team with Curbside technology has been able to move faster than anyone else in retail to grab the opportunity.”
Under increased pressure from online retailers like Jet and Amazon that sell everything from groceries to home goods, brick and mortar stores are racing to keep up with consumer demand to get things as quick and hassle-free as possible.
Tilzer says that 75% of the US population is within five miles of a CVS, so it’s often faster for shoppers to stop by and pick up their orders, than to wait a day or two for an online order to be delivered. CVS has about 9,600 retail drug stores across the country.
“Most people pass multiple CVSs to and from work,” says Tilzer. “We think we have an opportunity to provide the next generation in super convenient experiences for our customer, and also do so for free.”
- Steven Senne/AP
“It’s good for the impatient person,” says Waldman.
The impatient customer is, in many ways, the target customer in 2016, especially in the face of increased competition from e-commerce giants.
“The instant gratification is a lesson that everyone drew in the technology industry from Uber,” says Waldman. “If you can use your phone to make things a little bit easier as you go through the day, it’s just super compelling. But it needs to work – instantly.”
Outside of CVS Curbside Pickup, CVS has recently launched CVS Pay and walk-in Minute Clinics, intended to shave seconds and minutes off customers’ in-store experience. Tilzer says that CVS is now in process of exploring other services aimed at customers trying to save time.