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CVS/pharmacy targets Android users to bolster app downloads

April 16, 2013

CVS/pharmacy is aiming to drive downloads of its Android application with a promotion that loads the company’s app on devices in exchange for consumers signing up for two-year contracts.

The promotion is only available online and consumers can sign-up for the program at CVS has been actively building up its mobile presence in the past year, particularly with its ExtraCare loyalty program.

“This program provides us with a unique way to help our customers access the conveniences offered by our top-rated CVS mobile app, as well as visibility to all that we have available to consumers in the digital space when it comes to shopping and getting prescriptions,” said John Barron, vice president of marketing at CVS/pharmacy, Woonsocket, RI.

“The free smartphone offer provides our customers convenient access to our many in-store services on the go,” he said.

“It was a logical step for us to look at those customers who were eligible and already looking to upgrade their phones to devices with the latest technology.”

Driving downloads
The CVS/pharmacy offer applies to qualifying consumers who are eligible to upgrade the phone contract with their carrier. Consumers who sign up for a new contract with a new carrier also qualify for the promotion.

The carriers in the promotion are Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile.

Consumers can pick from a variety of Android smartphone models – such as Samsung’s Galaxy S II or Motorola’s Droid Razr M.

Users then pick their phone and their contract plan.

In exchange for signing a two-year contract, consumers can receive an Android smartphone.

CVS/pharmacy claims to be giving out one million smartphones. Consumers can pick up to five different devices with contracts.

Consumers will then receive the phone within 72 hours. An SMS message with a link to download the CVS/pharmacy Android app is then sent to the device once the phone is activated.

By loading the device with an SMS message, the goal here for CVS/pharmacy is to acquire and retain new app users.

The promotion is also an example of how retailers are increasingly using a variety of tactics to drive downloads and shows the emphasis that many brands such as CVS are placing on their app initiatives.

Via the app, consumers can scan bar codes on prescription bottles to refill their medications, link the app to their ExtraCare loyalty account, find coupons and offers and shop from their handsets.

According to CVS/pharmacy, the company has increasingly seen more consumers use their mobile devices to manage their shopping experience in the past year.

Refill on mobile
CVS/pharmacy has been actively building up its mobile repertoire in the past year.

Most recently, the company rolled out an interactive iPad app that uses 3D technology to mimic the in-store experience. The app also integrates with the brand’s ExtraCare loyalty program (see story)

Additionally, the company launched a mobile gift card exchange in 7,400 stores at the end of last year. By scanning a QR codes on prepaid card displays or print consumers could transfer money from more than 150 unwanted gift cards to transfer the balance to a CVS/pharmacy gift card (see story).

“CVS/pharmacy customers are increasingly utilizing our mobile tools year-over-year,” Mr. Barron said.

“Their usage is increasingly on the go, so our goal is to provide seamless mobile experiences that integrate our brick-and-mortar stores to help customers access these services easily and quickly,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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