Walgreens Boots Alliance Selects Adobe Experience Cloud for Next Phase of Digital Transformation

Walgreens logo above the pharmacy entrance

Image source: Adobe Stock / Andrei.

The first Walgreens opened in 1901, as a single pharmacy on the south side of Chicago. When it joined forces with Alliance Boots, the combined entity effectively became the largest retail pharmacy across the U.S. and Europe. The company attributes its growth to a history of embracing new ideas that made the shopping experience convenient and more engaging. There are numerous examples to point to, from the introduction of soda fountains, to self-service stores and drive-thru prescription pick-up.

More recently, Walgreens delivered a great mobile app. Released in 2009, when many brands were still reluctant to fully embrace mobile, the app today has nearly 5 stars with 2.7 million ratings. It was a well-timed investment, at a point when digital was just catching fire. As the company continued its efforts online, it knew that more daily activity would eventually move to digital. They also anticipated the value consumers would place on personalization, along with offerings that blended physical stores and eCommerce. Like many, however, it did not anticipate just how much COVID-19 would accelerate these trends.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has selected Adobe Experience Cloud to power the next chapter of its digital transformation. The company will be able to deliver new retail and wellness experiences that expand access to innovative services, while building on its reputation as a trusted resource in local communities. Core to this initiative is an ability to personalize experiences and offerings to more than 8 million customers that engage the brand daily, as well as more than 100 million members in its loyalty program. No matter what the need, every interaction with the company will be made more relevant and engaging, with expertise from trusted staff.

WBA & Adobe

Adobe Experience Cloud brings together a set of technologies that are foundational to digital transformation. WBA will use Adobe Analytics to make sense of the shopper journey across channels, and build customer segments in Adobe Audience Manager. Adobe Target will drive personalization at the scale of their business, while Adobe Campaign and Marketo Engage orchestrates content across email, push messaging and more. And with Adobe Experience Manager, the brand can quickly create, deliver and manage consistent experiences across destinations like desktop web and mobile.

The goal for Walgreens shoppers in the United States, or Boots patrons in the United Kingdom, is that every customer begins to have their needs anticipated and addressed faster. WBA can personalize services to pharmacy customers, with custom tools that make the refill process easier to manage (with adherence to WBA’s safeguards for consumer choice and privacy); First-time beauty shoppers can discover customized product recommendations online and in-store; And value seekers can receive personalized offers better suited to their needs. These are just a few use cases that power a new digital strategy, driving business resiliency and growth in every channel.

According to Vineet Mehra, Global Chief Marketing Officer at Walgreens Boots Alliance: “Within our family of brands, we serve a wide community that come to us for everything from prescription services, to household cleaning products and photo processing. Since 1901, when Charles Walgreen made an effort to greet every customer personally, we work to ensure that every individual’s needs are being met. Digital services are making this a reality on an unprecedented mass scale, allowing us to personalize and refine experiences with the brand.”

“This has never been more crucial, as COVID-19 is creating a new generation of people who increasingly go online for all of life’s daily needs, and expect services like curbside pickup,” says Vineet. “By building on top of our existing infrastructure investment with Microsoft Azure, our new partnership with Adobe Experience Cloud will help us activate data, drive mass personalization, and enable a more relevant shopping experience online and in-store.”

With its digital strategy and new investments, Walgreens Boots Alliance is joining a class of retailers that are changing the ways we shop. They have a technology foundation now to drive success in Customer Experience Management (CXM), a model that is creating leaders in every industry. At the same time, the company is driving an internal culture that fosters more collaboration, where the marketing and IT organizations work together to accelerate the pace of digital transformation. Having these pieces in place means the brand can move nimbly, delighting customers with shopping experiences that create new value and build loyalty.

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