Blame Big Data for CVS's endless miles of receipts


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/12/regression-to-the-mean.html


#2

“on the grounds that someone who is buying groceries has a high probability of being the kind of person who buys groceries.”

narrows eyes I can see no flaw in your argument, but I’m going to look anyway.


#3

Solution: don’t shop at CVS anyway, they donated money to the Trump campaign.


#4

I stopped using this card. The ridiculously long tapes never had products I wanted- I know what I want to buy already, thanks.

And I got tired of sharing so much personal info. My scripts- other personal purchases? No thanks.


#5

In addition, CVS has been pretty aggressively pursuing the use of automated checkouts in favor of cashiers, and their checkout machines suck.

For myself, I find that I can’t be bothered with coupons, but will be swayed by sales. I guess it’s more effective because you’re seeing it at the point of selection. If I go to the store, and I know that brand A and brand B are both satisfactory to me, and there’s a good deal on brand B, I’m going to choose that.


#6

they should change to joint friendly paper and reap the profit as stoners in CO, CA, NV etc buy arizona iced teas and funions to supplement.


#7

It’s not just the receipts. At the hot takeaway counter at Super Store / Loblaw’s, they have the plastic boxes of chicken wings of various flavours, chicken tenders, ribs, samosas, etc. On each one is a printed sticker with the price and a ridiculous wall of text that you have to scan to figure out what the item is.

There should be three major items on that: What it is, price, and the barcode for the cash to scan. The rest is mandated CYA fluff.


#8

Because most people can do basic math and figure out that the time spent clipping coupons has an ROI of less than half of minimum wage. Unless you’re retired and doing it for fun there’s really no point.


#9

Our local Kroger chain has it figured it out…their loyalty program is tied to their gas station partnership so using your card for groceries and prescriptions yields points that can be redeemed for discounts off gas. 100 points = 10 cents/gallon and you can redeem up to 1000 points for $1 off per gallon.

They also offer huge points for gift card purchases. My wife has to regularly buy $2000+ worth of gift cards each month for her work so we usually have tons of fuel points. Nothing like pulling up to the pump and paying the same price as we did back in the 90’s. It’s the only reason I make sure to use my card at checkout and check the receipt for my point balance.

Coupons though? Nope…never look at em.


#10

Ha! No they can’t and there is not nearly that amount of thought put into it.


#11

Also, a good deal less than that. One day, I discovered that 90% of coupons are for products I will never buy - diapers and air freshener and frozen dinners. Then I realized that I never remember to bring the good ones when I go shopping. Then I realized that, when I did remember, the coupon expired six months ago.

Much, much less than minimum wage.


#12

My theory is that the long coupons are a trick promulgated by the register tape companies upon the stores, to print more coupons.


#13

Funnily enough, I was just given one of those key ring tabs with no filled out contact form. So I always wonder who’s data are they tying my late night cravings for over priced ice cream and hot pockets.


#14

I suspect if the data were bigger - big enough to issue shorter receipts with a few better-chosen coupons - more people would take the time to look through them and use the ones they want.

I’m 5’11", and my CVS receipts are - not usually, but occasionally - taller than me.


#15

mine is tied to Tyler Durden


#16

Sad but true. :neutral_face:

Also sad, but true. :roll_eyes:


#17

Most of them use similar numbering systems, just scan any rewards “card” anywhere and it will often work.

(“Darling, this account statement says you bought a 36-pack of condoms last week!”)


#18

This happened to me just the other day! Big Data must’ve thought it was timely to place this post in front of my eyeballs. :wink:

Kmart used to do the long receipts, as well (and for all I know, still does).


#19

My local grocery stores* have started going the other direction. With the receipt on the monitor next to the register, the clerk then asks if I need a printed receipt. I often say no.

*I live in Munich, Germany


#20

We sometimes stock up on some stuff at one of those membership-based wholesale stores, but don’t go often. They’re surprisingly adept at mailing us coupons for exactly the things that we buy, timed to arrive just a day or two before we’re about to run out of some of those things. They send 3 coupons knowing that we’ll re-buy one or two of the items but almost certainly buy other stuff while we’re there (because who makes an entire wholesale shopping trip just for paper towels?) They’ve really got it working. The drugstores and grocery stores are just gambling.