Walgreens has launched a newly designed mobile shopping app, equipped with new and improved features aimed at simplifying the drugstore shopping experience. The retailer’s first complete mobile redesign in four years marks an important turning point as the retailer seeks to be the health destination for its shoppers.

Source: Walgreens email

Walgreens is already a leader in the mobile space—in retail and beyond. The Walgreens mobile app received Apple’s “Top App” award in 2012 and 2013, as well as several awards for paperless coupons, in-store features, and pharmacy tools. Within the past year, Walgreens has enhanced the mobile experience even further, adding new features such as Aisle 411 technology and pharmacy chat through its WebMD partnership.

The redesigned app includes these new features:

  • Simplified home page. The reconfigured home page is organized by key drugstore areas, including prescriptions & health, products, photos, and weekly ads and coupons.
  • “Shop products” feature. A “shop products” page, which is curated by department and category (e.g., Beauty, Natural & Organic), includes links to build a shopping list, view previous orders, and manage subscriptions.
  • Intelligent messaging. Personalized pop-up messages notify shoppers when they need to refill a prescription, pick up an order, or take their medication.
  • Health information and content. An integrated “health information” page lets shoppers scroll through health tips and articles about diet and fitness, women’s health, and diabetes.

Source: Walgreens email, mobile app

Compared with the previous app, the redesign is much easier to navigate and more personalized to the user’s specific needs. The app sets itself apart from the competition through its integrated pharmacy tools and features. The addition of health-related content is also noteworthy, as it reinforces Walgreen’s reputation as a destination for information and research.

Kantar POV

The mobile app redesign is an example of how Walgreens is driving loyalty by delivering on convenience. “Offer the ultimate convenience,” “drive customer loyalty,” and “deliver extraordinary customer and patient care” are the Walgreens strategic priorities. For Walgreens, ultimate convenience is achieved by helping Walgreens shoppers get in, get what they want, and get out. To make it easier for shoppers to shop, save, and stay healthy, Walgreens has acknowledged that it needs to better integrate the front store, pharmacy, and digital assets.

Here’s how the specific mobile app interventions improve the shopper experience:

  • Simplified navigation enables better user experience. The reorganized pages allow for seamless browsing via a consolidated product selection to reduce complexity and get shoppers’ attention. The streamlined user interface puts the right products together and while curating the selection to build awareness and the basket.
  • Personalized tools and messaging help patients and caregivers. The redesigned mobile app now offers “intelligent messaging” through personalized notifications; these messages are aimed at helping older shoppers remain in their homes longer and stay on their prescriptions. The messages also help caregivers by providing reminders and alerts. Walgreens has already changed shoppers’ refill behavior with the refill-by-scan app launched in 2011, which links the core pharmacy business and the mobile app.  
  • Added content and resources create a mobile health destination. With more than 80 million active Balance Rewards members, Walgreens wants to celebrate healthy lifestyles with Balance Rewards for healthy choices. This in-app program rewards shoppers with Balance Rewards points for exercising and adopting healthy habits, such as eating healthy and getting their blood pressure tested regularly. The redesigned mobile app better enables the WebMD partnership, giving shoppers greater access to wellness coaching and health content. All of this integrates with the counsel and support provided by the pharmacist in-store and online through pharmacy chat.
  • Integrated features redefine the notion of convenience. As a top multichannel retailer, Walgreens has a best-in-class road map to guide digital activities. From a brand perspective, the Walgreens value proposition centers on convenience, catering to the shopper’s needs on her terms—whatever, wherever, and whenever she needs. The mobile app upgrade enhances this value proposition by providing shoppers with 24/7 access to information, tools, and activities to guide their health and wellness needs. The increased conversation with shoppers helps to drive overall engagement and loyalty.

Key Supplier Questions

  • What is your digital strategy? How are you leveraging that in partnership with Walgreens?
  • How does your brand strategy tie into the Walgreens digital strategy? Have you maximized the Walgreens partnership with WebMD?
  • Does your mobile strategy align with Walgreen’s “whatever, wherever, and whenever” mission?
  • Walgreens is using mobile to redefine convenience: Are you leveraging Walgreens mobile programs to drive awareness and conversion?

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