CVS Health is teaming up with a Bay Area startup to offer consumers in-store pick-up at their neighborhood CVS for digital purchases.
The pharmacy chain is partnering with in-store pickup specialist Curbside to launch CVS Express. The new solution integrates Curbside's technology into the CVS Pharmacy app. Customers can make mobile, in-app purchases from their local CVS outlet and have those products delivered directly to them when they pull up to the store, all in about one hour. The drug store chain has made an investment in Curbside, which already supports in-store pickup with some other big-name retailers, including Target. CVS and Target are currently partnering on offering CVS pharmacies inside select Target Express stores.
The curbside pickup service has no markups or added costs. CVS created CVS Express in less than three months at its Boston-based digital innovation lab. On the back end, the solution provides store associates with a console app that supports an efficient pick-and-pack operation to prepare orders for customer pickup.
"This partnership with Curbside allows CVS Health to offer new and more convenient ways for our customers to shop with us – ultimately making it easier for them to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in a way that works best for them," said Helena Foulkes, executive VP, CVS Health and president, CVS Pharmacy.
CVS Express is currently available in San Francisco, Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, and will begin rolling out to additional stores later this year. It is applicable to all front store and over-the-counter items.
“We believe digital tools are the key to making health care convenient, personal and affordable for our customers, and CVS Express is a perfect embodiment of our digital mission," said Brian Tilzer, senior VP and chief digital officer, CVS Health. "By working closely with our retail team and partnering with Curbside, who brought industry-leading technology to our platform, we rapidly developed a seamless and simple solution that creates a significant time savings for customers. We are committed to redefining convenience and this will be one of many steps on that journey."
CVS Express is an example of what retailers can accomplish with an in-house innovation lab. Many retailers offer variations on curbside pickup of digital orders, often in partnership with third-party technology providers. However, CVS was able to develop and bring to market a fully integrated service in a short period of time, apparently at an affordable enough cost to avoid charging customers. And by investing in Curbside, the retailer will be able to reap further rewards on the developer side.