This winter CVS is piloting a new program in Boston with free delivery and a membership fee, sounds familiar, right? Almost Prime-like? That’s because it is.
For $48 a year or an easy $5 a month, CarePass includes free delivery on all CVS purchases, convenient access to pharmacists online and free delivery for most prescriptions. Even with CarePass in its infancy, in one city for a retail giant with nearly ten thousand locations, it’s a daring move to fight Amazon like Amazon. And it just might work.
What is CarePass?
CarePass bundles everyday items with prescription drug delivery, something Amazon doesn’t offer, yet. The new strategy comes on the heels of Amazon’s recent acquisition of online pharmacy start-up, PillPack, just a few months ago. Pharmacies have already seen a decline in revenues.
As Mike Dudas, founder of The Block tweeted back in June:
Pharmacies are Giving Amazon a Taste of their Own Medicine
The pharmacy retail chains are already changing the way they do business. Both CVS and Walgreens have been pulling certain products and making space to accommodate health services. And CVS is expected to complete its acquisition of health insurance giant Aetna this quarter.
However, CVS still enjoys about $20 billion in front of store sales of the retailer’s total $184.77 billion in revenue. The company is finding new ways to use its retail business to introduce customers to the pharmacy and empower customer loyalty.
CarePass has launched in more than 350 Boston stores. CVS will use this pilot to see how customers respond and according to CNBC, a future offering could include more perks like a MinuteClinic offering for starters.
The pilot gives CVS the opportunity to test the market response and plan for a national rollout.
Walmart and Target are Ready for the Fight
Meanwhile Walmart and Target are competing with Amazon Prime. Walmart is now offering free 2-day delivery on orders over $35 and free same-day in-store pickup for orders placed by 2 p.m..
And Target customers enjoy free two-day shipping without a purchase minimum from November 1st to December 22nd. (Customers must place orders by noon local time in the shipment destination.)
Retailers are Evolving with eCommerce
As the industry landscape continues to shift with evolving customer expectations and the continuing rise of eCommerce, studies show AI, ML and IoT are offering retailers more ways than ever to compete. With the right technology, retailers can use their own eCommerce data to ensure they are setting the prices and service levels to fuel profits, reduce waste and increase efficiency.
In this fast-evolving marketplace, retailers are constantly facing competitive pressures across channels. When it comes to a retail lifecycle pricing, even a 1% change in price can lead to a 10% change in profitability, making the strategy and systems retailers use an important component of their business.
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