Big retailers, big ideas at P2PX

A few lessons on shopper engagement from the Path to Purchase Expo.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Whether you’re a national building supply distributor, a corner hardware store, or a general store that dabbles in home improvement, somebody on your staff should be paying close attention to customer engagement.

That’s certainly the case at powerhouse retail chains Walgreens and CVS. On opening day of the 2019 Path to Purchase Expo (P2PX) here in Chicago, top executives from both chains talked about getting more personal in their shopper communication.

In fact, Marcy Brewington, director of in-store marketing strategy, CVS Health, announced a “full redesign” of its in-store signage for each of its 9,000 stores to begin early next year.

Brewington told a standing-room-only crowd that the refresh will roll out slowly throughout the year, planogram by planogram, and be completed by the end of 2020. She spoke alongside Dana Stotts, SVP, strategic director, Arc Worldwide, who CVS worked with to research, redesign and strategize how signage would be used in stores.

The CVS session, titled “Building Customer Confidence with Purpose,” directly followed a packed keynote address from Alyssa Raine, divisional vice president, brand marketing and creative, Walgreens that was titled: “Walgreens: Combining Technology and the Human Touch to Improve the Customer Experience.”

 [Want more P2P? Path to Purchase Institute members have access to more than 1,800 articles and a library of 14,000 marketing and merchandising images along with detailed retailer profiles detailing operations and strategies. Visit for more information]

It’s evident from the titles alone, both retailers are concerned about the shopper experience, either by “improving” how brands reach them digitally through messaging that feels personal and that the retailer cares, or by “building” or boosting a shopper’s confidence in how quickly they can shop and get the medications or items they need inside a store.

Alyssa Raine

Raine emphasized a need for empathy from retailers. She said the healthcare system is becoming more transactional and impersonal, noting that 41% of consumers believe healthcare is more concerned with money than a person’s well-being and 35% feel doctors provide impersonal service. She also cited a statistic that 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers a personalized experience.

The Expo continues through Nov. 14.  The Path to Purchase Institute is owned by EnsembleIQ, the parent company of HBSDealer.


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