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CVS/Pharmacy iPad app mimics in-store experience

August 14, 2013

A screenshot of CVS's new iPad app

PHILADELPHIA – A CVS/Pharmacy executive at eTail East said that the company is exploring new mobile layouts to give customers a personalized experience through an iPad application.

During the “Transforming Customer Experience through Digital and Omni-channel Innovation” keynote session, the CVS/Pharmacy executive discussed how the company is embracing innovation to redefine the standard of service through personalization online and via mobile. The executive also talked about the ability of digital to empower customers and provide valuable information that puts consumers in charge.

“We are exploring and innovating aggressively,” said Brian Tilzer, senior vice president and chief digital officer of CVS Caremark, Woonsocket, RI.

“For our iPad app, for example, we actually took the notion of creating a store experience rendering as the visualization of the browser experience,” he said. “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.”

Mobile pharmacy
CVS’s iPad app is a 3D rendering of an actual store. To access different features in the app, consumers have to browse the virtual store and click on red plus signs.

Feedback on the new app is somewhat segmented.

Customers who want to make a repeat purchase do not necessarily want to navigate through aisles to find an item. They want to be able to find it quickly and easily.

For browsing through the app, however, consumers do appreciate the aesthetics of the look.

Mr. Tilzner expects the company to eventually reach a more personalized experience where consumers can choose between a 3D aisle-browsing experience and a simple, in-and-out app experience.

The ExtraCare feature in the iPad app

CVS’ new iPad application is part of the company’s greater mobile push.

The pharmacy also has an app for iPhone and Android devices. Each app lets consumers access features including pharmacy services, ExtraCare rewards, shopping, photo and MinuteClinic.

CVS/Pharmacy recently launched a drug information center that provides valuable information to consumers about different medicine.

If consumers are at home and unsure of whether or not they can give their child a specific medicine, they can look it up in the information center. Consumers can also look up different drugs to see how they interact with each other.

According to Mr. Tilzer, app downloads have increased immensely and the app is used very frequently. Many marketers have trouble getting consumers to actually return to an app once it is downloaded, and Mr. Tilzer noted that the CVS app sees many repeat uses.

One reason for that may be that consumers can use the apps to access prescriptions, which would incentivize them to return to the app frequently.

Mr. Tilzer

Empowering the customer
According to Mr. Tilzer, CVS/Pharmacy has 10 million customers enrolled to receive notifications when their prescriptions are ready.

By using digital and mobile, CVS/Pharmacy saves consumers time and eliminated barriers that prevent people from picking up prescriptions. It allows them to control pharmaceutical information in a seamless fashion and also provides consumers with opportunities to save money.

“Mobile is revolutionizing all of our business in many ways,” Mr. Tilzer said.

“It’s particularly revolutionizing for health care and pharmacy because of the time urgency of the issues we’re dealing with,” he said. “The ability to have info any time on the go is immense.

“Ultimately we think we can help our customers lead healthier lives. We think digital communications are a new tool to make customers aware of all the services that are available to them so that they don’t let diseases linger.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant at Mobile Marketer, New York

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Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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