Tuesday Buzz: CVS Ditches the Receipts (Finally)

A major pharmacy chain shifts gears on the most annoying part of its long-running loyalty program, and does so in the most hilarious way possible. Also: One music-focused association gets into the spirit for its legislative fly-in.

A few years back, I got a chance to write about one of my personal pet peeves: the length of receipts at CVS.

The marketing strategy, which had become something of an Achilles’ heel of its loyalty program, continued for years. It became a common target of viral jokes, in part because the receipts were incredibly long even when attached to the purchase of a single item. But last week, a top executive at CVS’ pharmacy division revealed the company was bringing digital receipts to customers, in an announcement at—of all places—the late-night show Jimmy Kimmel Live.

As part of a skit in January 2015, Kimmel called out CVS for its receipts after showing a photo that a staffer took, which went viral, and compared the length of a CVS receipt with the length of the employee’s dog. “We either need shorter receipts or longer dogs. I’m not sure which,” Kimmel joked. Not long after the initial clip, Kimmel got to interview President Obama and asked the leader of the free world if he could solve the CVS receipt problem.

The company was apparently listening to Kimmel’s pleas, because not long after the host launched a mock campaign to become vice president, CVS Pharmacy President Helena Foulkes appeared on his show and announced that the chain will be offering digital receipts as an option to ExtraCare Rewards program members at each of the store’s 7,900 locations by the end of June. All customers have to do is sign up for the program, provide an email address, and opt out of receiving any more paper receipts.

“This feature lets our customers continue to make personalized choices as to how they engage with us and will let our members choose to say ‘So long!’ to the long paper receipts at checkout,” Foulkes said in a news release.

Sometimes, the ultimate sign of loyalty to your members is a willingness to change strategies so you can make life a little more convenient for them.

Photo Op of the Day

NAMM Music Education Advocacy

(photos by Kris Connor/Getty Images for NAMM)

Yesterday the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) got a chance to hit the nation’s capital as part of its Music Education Advocacy DC Fly-in. As part of their visit to Washington, DC, NAMM members took part in a day of service for music education on Monday, visiting the Friendship Tech Prep Academy in the Anacostia neighborhood and allowing students to play a variety of instruments.

Above is a photo of NAMM President and CEO Joe Lamond playing the ukulele along with students and NAMM members. A business leader may be impressive, but what really excited students was meeting Bernie Williams, the former New York Yankees star and longtime jazz hound, who spoke with them about the value of music education.

Bernie Williams

Not a bad way to start a fly-in. The group will be hanging around the capital through May 26.

Other Links of Note

“While user experience (UX) has grown up since the ’90s, the same can’t be said about author experience (AX),” says Boris Kraft, one of the founders of Magnolia International, which sells open source CMS. In a piece on CMSWire, he speaks up for the authors.

Need some graphics that fit your style? You may want to check out illustrio, a startup that allows you to download stock graphics that you can customize based on your brand’s colors and needs.

A positive message can go a long way in getting new people to volunteer, VolunteerMatch’s Basil Sadiq explains.

CVS President Helena Foulkes, with … uh, vice presidential candidate Jimmy Kimmel. (handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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