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CVS bets on mobile-optimized ereceipts to expand in-store digitization

CVS Pharmacy is bringing a more streamlined digital focus to its in-store offerings while beefing up its loyalty memberships by enabling ExtraCare Rewards members to receive mobile-optimized digital receipts via email.

CVS is joining the slew of retailers moving toward an email-based system of distributing receipts by rolling out the option to its loyalty members first, a move that could fuel an uptick in rewards program sign-ups. The era of paper receipts and coupons is continuing to ebb away thanks to the ubiquity of mobile devices and consumers who are demanding more digital offerings that cannot be easily misplaced or lost.

“CVS Health’s move to digital receipts has been anticipated by the majority of the ExtraCare members,” said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. “The receipts with the coupons and ExtraBucks Rewards, while great to get with each visit, were quite a bit to keep up with.

“Now that ExtraCare Rewards and special offers will be available through the CVS Pharmacy app, a hefty amount of paper doesn’t need to be saved and clipped for future trips. I’m sure all of the ExtraCare members are breathing easier with this transition.”

No paper, no problems
Digital receipts will be available to all ExtraCare Rewards members in early June, with full functionality expected to roll out to 7,900 retail locations soon afterwards. The imminent introduction of ereceipts was first revealed on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Shoppers opting in for the digital receipts will no longer receive paper receipts when making in-store purchases. Once the opt-in has been completed for the first transaction, CVS will automatically send only digital receipts and coupons for every subsequent in-store purchase.

To take advantage of the new offering, customers must enroll in the pharmacy chain’s loyalty program if they have not already done so, and provide a valid email address. This can be done at a CVS register with the help of a store associate.

CVS sought to meet demand for paperless receipt options after realizing many consumers appreciate having the ability to personalize their checkout experiences.

ExtraCare members will now have their receipts delivered directly to their emails, where they will also continue to receive ExtraBucks Rewards and savings offers. These coupons can be redeemed in-store via a smartphone or tablet device by hitting the “send to card” button next to each deal.

Each individual’s preferences will be saved for future transactions. Customers can still request a paper version of their receipt if they would like one for a specific purchase.

The chain’s ExtraBucks Rewards and other offers are also accessible via the CVS Pharmacy mobile application, making it simple for consumers to go paperless during their shopping excursions and eliminating the need to worry about losing or misplacing an important coupon.

Additionally, if consumers need to return a product to a CVS store, they can search for the receipt in their email inbox on their smartphone instead of digging around their wallet or purse for the paper version, a capability that will likely resonate with individuals seeking more streamlined shopping experiences.

The mobile pharmacy
CVS has been relying more heavily on mobile commerce strategies as it looks for new ways to ramp up sales, bring convenience into customers’ lives and promote further brand engagement.

Last month, CVS Health brought mobile delivery to the mainstream drugstore industry through a native integration of ordering service Curbside in its app, a move that takes omnichannel experiences in this competitive retail landscape beyond the now-standard in-store pickup (see story).

Meanwhile, in the fall, CVS opened the doors to its mobile pharmacy, featuring a variety of tools giving customers the ability to manage their health while on-the-go, which the retailer hopes will decrease healthcare costs as well as encourage prescription refills (see story).

“It is absolutely of the greatest importance for CVS to maintain a robust presence on consumers’ mobile devices, as this allows it to understand and know its customers at a better level and enable customer service that excels,” Ms. Troutman said.