Retail News Breaks Archives
CVS ramps up mobile shopping platform
December 7th, 2011
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – Catering to the swelling ranks of smartphone users, CVS/pharmacy has made the entire CVS.com catalog available to shoppers through its mobile site (m.cvs.com).
CVS said Wednesday that the move, which also includes access to the CVS Photo mobile site (m.cvsphoto.com) and MinuteClinic mobile site (m.minuteclinic.com), marks the deployment of a complete mobile shopping platform.
Visitors to the CVS/pharmacy mobile site can now access the CVS.com catalog of more than 25,000 products, redeem coupons and offers, buy and ship products, and browse product categories and search for specific items. They also can update credit card and account information for shipping and billing via their smartphones as well as log into their CVS Photo account to order and purchase prints for in-store pickup.
The retailer added that these mobile enhancements build on previous "mCommerce" upgrades that allow shoppers to locate nearby CVS stores by using their phone's GPS, check the weekly circular, and find MinuteClinic locations and services (m.minuteclinic.com). Smartphone users also can manage their ExtraCare Rewards accounts plus scan and send prescription refills.
"Our new mobile shopping site offers digitally minded CVS/pharmacy shoppers with a superior on-the-go retail shopping experience," Rob Price, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for CVS/pharmacy, said in a statement. "The launch of mobile shopping is another exciting step in our ongoing effort to expand our digital suite in order to better serve all of our customers, whether they are refilling prescriptions via camera phone or shopping for holiday gifts from their smartphone."
In announcing the expanded mobile retail platform, CVS cited results released early last month from an IBM study of 500 retailer websites. The analysis estimated that an "unprecedented" 15% of Americans logging onto a retailer website during the 2011 November holiday season will do so via a mobile device.
The IBM study predicted that record numbers of consumers will shift their shopping from the PC to their mobile device this holiday season. In October, about 11% of people used a mobile device to visit a retailer's site, up from 4.2% a year earlier. Mobile sales also continue to rise, reaching a high of 9.6% in October, compared with 3.4% a year before.
"This November holiday season will mark the true advent of the post-PC era with consumers demonstrating a heightened interest in adding mobile devices to their holiday shopping arsenal," stated John Squire, director of product management for the Enterprise Marketing Management Group at IBM Industry Solutions. "In response, savvy retailers must invest in delivering hyperpersonalized, smarter-commerce shopping experiences that are capable of building loyalty through multiple channels with exceptionally relevant promotions, free shipping and more."
In terms of mobile devices, the IBM study found that for the first time, Android smartphone users will demonstrate similar levels of mobile shopping as Apple iPhone users. Also, shoppers using an Apple iPad will lead to more retail purchases more often per visit than other mobile devices, according to October data showing iPad conversion rates reaching 6.8% versus the overall mobile device conversion rate of 3.6%.
The National Retail Federation (NRF), as part of its annual Black Friday weekend consumer poll, also pointed to the growing influence of mobile devices, especially tablets. NRF reported that this year, for the first time, it asked shoppers how they would use their smartphones and tablets during the Black Friday period (Nov. 24 to 26).
More than one-quarter (25.7%) of those with tablet devices said they did or will buy items via their devices, and 37.4% will or have researched products and compared prices using their tablets. Overall, more than half (57.1%) said they have or will use their tablet devices to shop for gifts.