Three years ago, CVS officials took a bold and necessary step for them: They stopped selling tobacco products. Now, they want to create a re-imagined customer shopping experience.

What are the company’s goals for the enhanced customer experience/new store design from a customer engagement perspective?

Erin Pensa, public relations director at CVS, talked to Loyalty360 about the company’s goals surrounding a new and improved customer experience.

“The catalyst for the new store design and enhancements to our customer experience was the decision to stop selling tobacco in 2014,” Pensa explained. “Fast forward to today and we are still focused on the same mission of helping people on their path to better heath. Our goal for these latest store enhancements was to create a reimagined shopping experience that makes it easier for customers to find ‘better-for-you’ options through the addition of innovative in-store features that empower customers to make healthy choices.”

To improve customer engagement around the company’s theme of “empowered health,” CVS added 100 feet of additional floor space dedicated to merchandise in health, beauty, and healthier food products.

“We also restructured our stores to improve visibility to health products as soon as customers walk through the front door and created a more intuitive flow from food into health that will help customers find the healthier-for-you products they are seeking,” Pensa said. “The new formats also increase signage throughout the store to improve customer engagement by helping them more easily discover our expanded assortment of ‘better-for-you’ products. Specifically, we added ‘discovery zones’ and ‘beacons’ in prominent locations throughout the store to help educate customers about key health categories and make it easier for them to find the right solutions.”

Customer feedback around the new store formats has been very encouraging.

“They’ve told us the new changes created a brighter, cleaner, and more open store atmosphere that made it much easier for them to shop and that the new signage was visually appealing and made it easier to find the products they were looking for,” Pensa said. “These exciting new store enhancements represent the latest evolution of a re-imagined store experience designed to meet the needs of our customers. Through our research, we uncovered that our customers are thinking about their health differently and taking a more proactive approach to staying well by moving from a ‘sick-care’ to ‘self-care’ mindset. Fueling that research is the insights and data that we glean from the CVS Pharmacy ExtraCare Rewards program, the longest-running loyalty program in the industry, which allows us to learn so much about our customers’ preferences and create an experience where they can receive more relevant and personalized content.”

Overall, Pensa said the company’s approach to the new store redesign and experience is not a one-size-fits-all.

“We are consistently testing and learning to see what is working, and what’s not, to give us the ability to bring experiences and products that truly resonates with our customers’ needs,” she explained. “With this approach, it allows us to continue to evolve our thinking so we can respond more agilely, especially in a highly competitive, ever-changing retail landscape. We hope our customers are excited about these new health options as we are and will keep them energized and engaged around the CVS Pharmacy brand well into the future.”

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