CVS has become the latest retailer to embrace the click-and-collect trend, enabling customers to order items with a mobile app and pick them up without leaving their cars. The CVS Express service seems like a natural fit for the retailer, which placed in the Gifted category of L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box due to omnichannel and mobile innovations. However, click-and-collect brings forth logistical challenges CVS may not be equipped to address.
One of the innovations that landed CVS in the Gifted category is the brand’s mobile app, which features a creative pill finder tool and links to the CVS loyalty card. CVS joined Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Target, and Walmart as a leader in omnichannel, adopting more than 80% of the 16 sophisticated features examined in L2’s study.
However, succeeding in omnichannel requires connecting all the links in the chain. CVS Express is not integrated with the in-store inventory system, meaning employees could use smartphones to fulfill orders before realizing any items are out of stock.
“Over time, this will put bigger burdens on us as we think about accuracy of inventory,” CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes told USA Today.
These burdens will only compound as CVS competitors adopt similar services. Target is partnering with the Curbside mobile app, and Walmart is expanding its buy online, in-vehicle pickup service. CVS must solve logistics gaps better than its counterparts to make its click-and-collect offering a success.