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Creating the pharmacy of the future

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Creating the pharmacy of the future


CVS Pharmacy asked Experientia to expand their innovation process through a better understanding of what the current pharmacy experience looks like and to conceptualize the pharmacy of the future. This included extensive ethnographic research in pharmacies in Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The project generated concepts and design solutions for a number of customer touchpoints — both in-store and technology enabled.

3 things to know

  1. CVS wanted to develop an insightful understanding of the customer’s current pharmacy experience in order to transform their company from a basic provider of health products to a healing and wellness center.

  2. In addition to co-creation and usability testing sessions, we conducted comprehensive ethnographic research with pharmacists and customers across Italy, Germany and the UK to capture in-depth feedback from multiple perspectives.

  3. CVS was provided with over 26 healthcare and consumer opportunities including video scenarios and functional mobile software prototypes. Select ideas are now being tested at CVS branches around the world.

CVS wanted to transform the company from a provider of health products and services to a “healing and wellness center with a focus on customer empowerment, vitality and active longevity”. They asked a team of design companies, including Experientia, to create an insightful and empathic understanding of the customer’s current pharmacy experience, and to help conceptualize the pharmacy experience of the future, in order to inform their strategic vision.

Experientia worked together with the Launch Institute (USA) and the Design Academy (USA), dividing research into geographical areas, with Experientia’s work focusing on the European market. To gain a full picture of the current context, background research was carried out on US and European trends in healthcare and pharmacies.

In addition to reviewing primary and secondary research provided by CVS, the teams conducted ethnographic observations in the USA, Italy, the UK and Germany; contextual interviews with pharmacists and customers; and observation of stores, communities, healthcare environments, entertainment venues, and alternative health experiences.

In a series of country explorations, the teams provided detailed key insights about cultures of healing and pharmacy experiences in Italy, Germany, UK, America, Colombia and Peru, and India. Experientia then developed a series of persona archetypes based on home interviews and shop-along visits, supported by community ethnography interviews.

The idea generation phase involved looking at key change levers to achieve the CVS experience vision. Experientia conducted co-creative brainstorming sessions around insights from the European research.
We also created an opportunity map focusing on business models, store design, connection to people, empathic employees and new products.
The research partner, Launch Institute, created a portfolio of Visionary Concepts arranged into clusters of customer behaviors. These covered areas such as shop design, work flows and processes, client/pharmacist relationships and community roles.

The persona archetypes from the understanding phase were developed into 4 video scenarios based on perceived needs and desires regarding different phases in visiting pharmacies.

Experientia also explored a text message system to answer client inquiries. We developed a functional mobile software prototype that demonstrated intuitive ways of offering clients information on shop locations, and medical definitions and translations.

The testing component of the project included heuristic evaluation, scenario testing, usability testing, pre-launch analysis and post-implementation assessment.

At the end of the project, CVS was provided with over 26 healthcare and consumer trends, insights from the empathic market research, user profiles and video scenario prototypes, concept validation and functional mobile software prototypes.
A selection of ideas have now been implemented at CVS pharmacies where they are being tested with customers.

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