CVS Pharmacy (NYSE: CVS), a national chain with more than 9,900 locations, has optimized its customer experience for Hispanic consumers with its CVS Pharmacy y mas stores. Since 2015, CVS has opened more than 200 of these locations in over 90 cities throughout California, Florida, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Puerto Rico -- all markets with large Hispanic populations.
The company has announced a dozen additional CVS Pharmacy y mas stores coming later this year, bringing the culturally specific stores to the New York and New Jersey markets for the first time.
CVS' goal with CVS Pharmacy y mas is to provide a highly personalized shopping experience for Hispanic consumers and products offered at lower prices. In addition to the local and national brands, CVS y mas stocks more than 1,500 culturally specific products, which include many that are sourced locally.
A rapidly growing market
According to national Hispanic business publication Negocios Now, the population of Hispanic Americans is projected to grow by 163% from 2010 to 2050. What's more, Hispanic household spending is the highest out of any minority group, reaching $978 billion in 2020.
It's a savvy move on the part of commercial investors with interests in Hispanic communities to focus on the particular needs of local consumers. Southeastern Grocers is another store that has focused efforts on this growing population, having opened its 27th Fresco y Mas store in southwest Florida last October.
An inclusive experience for customers
Customer service is at the heart of any successful retail establishment. According to Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) Global State of Customer Service report, 90% of customers cite a positive customer experience as the reason for remaining loyal to a brand. Should that experience grow sour, 58% of customers will switch brands or companies.
For CVS Pharmacy y mas to maintain customer loyalty, this means creating an optimal in-store experience that makes customers feel valued by the staff and well-served by the product offerings. Bilingual signage guides customers to find what they need as they shop, plus many staff members speak Spanish.
A PwC report indicates that 82% of consumers crave interaction as part of their buying experience, yet only 38% say that the employees they come into contact with understand their needs. With CVS Pharmacy y mas, Hispanic customers will likely feel more comfortable shopping and, most importantly, asking sensitive questions about their healthcare and pharmacy needs. Additionally, the CVS website is available in Spanish, allowing for a better customer experience to Spanish-speaking customers, no matter their location.
While clear communication is a plus for the shopping side of CVS, it's vital for the pharmacy component of the business. By removing the language barrier, CVS Pharmacy y mas makes it much easier for non-English-speaking individuals to access healthcare, including vaccinations. Many CVS locations offer appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine as well as other immunizations, like flu and shingles shots.
The bottom line
Creating an excellent customer experience is not a one-size-fits-all approach, particularly when language and culture intersect with products and services. Retailers looking to invest in communities with large Hispanic populations should focus on the specific needs of those consumers to create consumer loyalty and trust in their brands. In a time when so much shopping is done online, this type of personalized customer experience could be just what's needed to get more customers back into stores.