How Walgreens Maintains Mobile App Dominance

by Roger Woods

posted on 03-25-2019

Consumers are incredibly selective with the apps they choose to keep on their smartphones. Outside of social media, gaming and messaging services, there is little room for much else. For the small handful of apps that have cracked the code, they have discovered how to deliver hero features that fit the form factor of a mobile device. Walgreens has been a clear leader here, celebrating the 10-year anniversary of a mobile app that has now surpassed 50 million installs and carries 5 stars on the Apple App Store. From prescriptions to photo services, users are heavily engaged with an app that simply makes their lives easier.

Walgreens has made incredible progress in the category of Customer Experience Management (CXM) with their mobile app. As an Adobe Experience Cloud customer, they are using actionable data around customer behaviors to enhance the features they provide. At the same time, personalization tools enable them to deliver the right content to the right customer, at exactly the right time. For the everyday Walgreens customer, the app essentially gives them everything they need to accomplish errands more quickly and be better informed as a shopper.

Health on the go

Nearly 8 million people interact with Walgreens in-person or digitally each day, and one of the most popular features on the mobile app is the prescription service. With a few simple taps, shoppers can re-fill orders and pick them up same-day. With Walgreens Express, users can even pre-pay their order and be in-and-out of a store in minutes. Over time, Walgreens has built a large community of users who embrace the app to manage their healthcare needs. A few seasons go, the company introduced the Walgreens Flu Index™. By analyzing the absolute impact and incremental change of antiviral medications being dispensed, Walgreens tracks which populations are experiencing the highest incidences of influenza. Walgreens then uses the mobile service in Adobe Experience Cloud to push out notifications for customers in high-risk areas—informing them of ways to help prevent influenza.

When it comes to prescriptions, a big challenge for customers is often around remembering to take their medicine on time. Walgreens created Pill Reminder in the app as a way to help users navigate this. In order to keep customers informed of this feature, the team looked at Adobe Analytics data on heavily engaged users and created segments of people that were similar but not using the feature. This group was engaged with customized Pill Reminder content, that shared the benefits it provides and grew the user base as a result. As Walgreens continues to rely on data to assess customer preferences, they are also exploring new ways to support health goals with features such as telemedicine and connecting people with local healthcare providers.

Picture perfect

People take lots photos with their smartphones, and the majority of them end up disappearing into a cloud service or vanish when someone buys a new device. Walgreens wants to help shoppers do more with their memories, from cards and photo books to calendars and individual prints—all done directly from a user’s camera roll (or those same cloud services they love) to the Walgreens app. Leveraging data about how users navigate the Photo feature, the app has been developed to ensure it’s easy to use, including supporting changes in the UX layout and shortening the number of steps a user has to take to accomplish their task.

The same approach is used for promotional offers throughout the year. An auto-clip feature allows shoppers to redeem a promotion in one tap, with no need to fuss with discount codes—all of which is handled on the backend. This seemingly simple implementation has been crucial in removing a customer friction point. With mobile apps, small changes are sometimes the most impactful. The sophistication that Walgreens has with personalization tools also means that offers are tailored to different individuals and the stage of their relationship with the brand.

State of retail

One of the main takeaways of the last holiday shopping reason is that consumers are embracing new and different ways to shop. From the massive growth around in-store pick-up and continued upward trajectory of mobile shopping, the successful retailers of the future are ones who can best blend the physical and digital retail experience. The Walgreens mobile app has been a prime example of success in tapping a device that nearly everyone has in their pocket, to make their daily errands just a little easier.

Walgreens uses Adobe Experience Cloud and its mobile services, along with analytics, personalization and web content management solutions to become a true Customer Experience Management company. Learn more here.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Adobe Summit, News, Customer Stories

Products: Analytics, Experience Manager, Target