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CVS/pharmacy pilots incentivized mobile program to drive foot traffic

Drugstore chain CVS/pharmacy is piloting a new mobile program that rewards in-store shoppers when they visit participating locations.

The program is being piloted at 150 stores in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is being launched with a special offer of $5 off any purchase for shoppers who visit participating locations and use the shopkick app.

“Mobile’s influence on shopping decisions is exploding,” said Doug Galen, chief revenue officer of shopkick, Palo Alto, CA. “Seventy eight percent of smart phone owners use their phone to drive in-store decisions and we are indeed a smart phone nation with over 50 percent of people owning a smart phone.

“Not all mobile rewards work,” he said. “The keys to a successful rewards program is to create an experience that attracts shoppers, offers a reward currency that resonates with shoppers, and actually drives the in-store experience.”

A rewarding experience
CVS/pharmacy has partnered with shopkick for the program. Mobile app shopkick launched in 2010 as a way to provide rewards, offers and exclusive deals at participating retailers to shoppers who have downloaded the app.

The shopkick app detects a signal emitted from a device located in each participating store and picked up by a shopper’s smartphone handset. The app then delivers kicks via the app, which can be collected at all participating partner store locations and redeemed for in-store gift cards, song downloads, movie tickets, Facebook Credits, donations to charities and more.

Shopkick’s retail partners include Best Buy, Macy’s, Old Navy, Target and others.

The email to CVS customers announcing the shopkick program.

CVS/pharmacy customers will receive kicks for walking into a participating location. They will also receive special offers and opportunities to interact with partner brands and additional kicks when they make a purchase with a MasterCard or Visa card.

CVS is driving awareness by offering $5 off with no minimum spend for shoppers using shopkick.  CVS is also promoting shopkick in-store, via email and in its mobile application.

Loyalty program overload
CVS/pharmacy is the first national drugstore brand to partner with shopkick. The program is a smart move for CVS/pharmacy since drugstore customers are frequent shoppers, with many visiting a location several times per week and this gives the retailer a way to reward them for their loyalty.

Shopkick is available for free on the iPhone from the Apple App Store and on for Android devices at Google Play.

“An average shopper has 20 loyalty programs, which is diluting the value of many of independent loyalty programs,” Mr. Galen said. “By assembling the ‘who’s who’ of retailers with partners like American Eagle, Target, Macy’s and Toys “R” Us and now CVS, we are quickly creating a powerful cross-retailer rewards alliance that both consumers and participating retailers love.

“Shopkick is the only rewards program in which multiple brand and retailers use the same currency to offer rewards,” he said. “That is great for consumers, who can combine the value of all the rewards they earned while shopping and choose how they want to treat themselves.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York