It seems like new drugstores are popping up almost daily. Whether it be CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid, Duane Reade or others, the chain drugstore market is fiercely competitive. While many companies look to compete on price, some drugstore chains are turning to customer centricity as a competitive advantage.Today's feature story in 1to1 Magazine describes customer-focused initiatives at three popular drugstore retailers: CVS, Walgreens, and Duane Reade. All three recognize that the traditional concept of the drugstore has changed, and customer expectations are higher. Customers want an experience, not just a transaction. According to the article, "experts say such attempts to differentiate and improve the customer experience are critical for chain drugstores, whose close physical proximity, comparable mix of merchandise, and similar expectation of service from customers makes it a challenge to differentiate."
"They've made themselves very convenient, but they've also allowed shoppers to just shop the sale," says Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail. "We know from our 'How America Shops' research that cross-shopping is huge: 56 percent of one chain's shoppers [also] shop another chain." Without an emotional connection, Corlett argues, "they're indistinguishable from one another.
And as the line blurs between drugstores and other retail outlets, competition heats up even more. The health of the drugstore industry relies on a commitment to customers.