Costco is teaming up with delivery intermediary Instacart to test delivery of prescription drugs to its club members in California and Washington state. The service will support fast fulfillment time of one hour, with delivery free on orders over USD35. To ensure a proper checkout process, Instacart personnel will check proof of identity upon delivery.
The is just one in an array of recent initiatives of non-health retailers pushing into health & pharma to make healthcare more accessible in the fast-aging US society. Prescription delivery has turned into a competitive battleground in the US, as retailers look to fend off the impending threat of Amazon, who acquired online pharmacy PillPack. Prescription delivery has already been rolled out by Walgreens and CVS, who like Costco, opted to partner with a delivery intermediary Shipt.
As Instacart already partners with multiple grocers, including Albertsons and Sam’s Club, who have in-store pharmacies, brands should prepare for intermediaries to become further embedded across multiple channels. Recognizing delivery intermediaries as influencers of product discovery and optimizing online presence on their platforms, will allow brands to win product selection and drive sales in the emerging channel.
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