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CVS Health said yesterday that it is rolling out what it calls a "suite of new digital tools aimed at helping customers manage their health with more ease and efficiency." The tools are designed to address a belief, supported by its own research, that "pharmacy customers enrolled in digital and online programs demonstrate better medication adherence and reduced health care costs overall."

Among the offerings are integration of Apple Watch technology, the ability to scan in both insurance cards and prescriptions as a way of streamlining this process, and the use of beacon technology to communicate more effectively with customers in the store.
KC's View:
I think all these things make sense ... that technology obviously can be a powerful tool in creating loyalty among shoppers who can use it in their own best interests. But ... I also think that CVS could help itself out a lot if it actually maintained a better in-stock position in some of its stores. I've had occasion recently to spend some time in my local CVS, and I've been amazed the degree to which, in some departments, there are a lot of gaps on the shelves. (I tried to point this out to one of the managers, who decided to argue with me about it. This sent me across the street to the much smaller independent drugstore, where they had what I needed.)

I have no idea if this is true, but purely from a consumer perspective, it certainly feels like CVS has reached a tipping point ... and that it is so big that it is not taking care of the basics. I've done some anecdotal research on this, and I'm not the only customer who feels this way.

It is great to have all sorts of fancy tools in your toolbox. But it sees to me that you've also got to have a hammer, screwdriver and a wrench. And this is a lesson worth learning by every retailer.