Published on: September 25, 2008Now available on iTunes…
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Hi, I’m Kevin Coupe, and this is MorningNewsBeat Radio, brought to you by Webstop, experts in the art of retail website design.
The situation I am about to describe is specific to one retailer. But think to yourself if it is happening, or if similar things could happen, in your company.
I went down to the local CVS the other day to pick up one or two things for my daughter, who was suffering from a cold and sore throat. I found them fairly quickly and then went up to the checkout counter.
Do you have your CVS card, they asked, just as they always do.
No, I said, but I do have my phone number. I like the idea that at CVS, unlike a lot of other retailers, you don't actually have to have the card or key fob with you. Give them your phone number, and they can access your frequent shopper account.
So I gave them the number, and they rang up the two items, which I then placed in the canvas bag that I’d carried with me into the store.
Here’s where the system broke down, in my humble opinion. The register then spewed out a receipt that was easily three feet long. I’m looking at it now, and most of the receipt is dedicated to coupon offers for products that I have little or no use for.
Now, beyond the fact that the offers were irrelevant, think about the colossal waste of paper…specially if everybody buying stuff at CVS in a given day is getting the same kind of receipt. (This hasn’t just happened once by the way … it has happened numerous times, but this time it just got on my nerves. Besides, I was looking for something to rant about on MorningNewsBeat Radio.)
And the thing is, CVS has a frequent shopper program. They’re tracking my purchases…and if they had any sense, they’d simply use the program to apply relevant and useful discounts without all that wasted paper. They could even do what they do in the Apple Store and ask if I’d like the receipt emailed to me…which I’d opt for in a second because it would allow me to use technology to better track my own purchases.
But no, that’s not what CVS is doing. And I wonder how many other retailers are making the same kinds of mistakes.
My suspicion is that the people who developed CVS’s frequent shopper program simply aren’t talking to the people who run its couponing and marketing programs…and if they are talking, they aren’t chatting about the right things. And somehow the marketing people and technology people aren’t putting their heads together to see where both efficiencies and advances can be made that will be good for both the customer and the company. (I wonder how much money would be saved if CVS sent a decent percentage of its receipts to customers via email. Betcha it is more than just a few bucks.)
Furthermore, my suspicion is that in the scenario just described, the company is thinking tactically, not strategically. Nobody is connecting the dots…and once again, I raise the point:
How many other retailers are making the same kinds of mistakes?
For MorningNewsBeat Radio, I’m Kevin Coupe.
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