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Duane Reade streamlines shopping experience through new app

April 11, 2013

Duane Reade has launched an iPhone application that helps consumers store their loyalty cards and aims to elevate the in-store shopping experience.

The framework for the new app is based on parent company Walgreens’ popular mobile app that lets consumers refill prescriptions and store loyalty card information. Consumers can download the app for free in Apple’s App Store.

“The strategic approach to this app launch is to enhance our inherent, omnichannel customer experience in the New York metropolitan area by providing key pharmacy services and photo features that allow us to engage on a social level via our print from Facebook options,” said Calvin Peters, public relations and communication manager at Duane Reade, New York.

“Our Balance Rewards participation is also facilitated by providing quick access to key loyalty account information and a convenient, location-based virtual loyalty card to your local Duane Reade with Passbook,” he said.

Duane Reade claims to be the largest drug store chain in New York with more than 250 stores in the metropolitan area.

Mobile prescription
Similar to the Walgreens app, prescriptions can be refilled with an in-app camera feature that lets consumers scan the bar code next to a prescription bottle.

Additionally, users can sign up to receive alerts that remind users when it is time to refill their medications.

The app also serves as a loyalty hub for Duane Reade and Walgreens’ Balance Rewards program. Users can sign-up for an account and add their loyalty card to Apple’s Passbook for quick access while in-store.

Consumers can also set their preferred location. A device’s built-in GPS then triggers the card to pull up on a mobile device when consumers are nearby the store.

There is also a mapping feature that lets consumers view specific store layouts.

Walgreens’ and Duane Reade’s QuickPrint program is also enabled in the app, which lets consumers place photo orders from their device’s photo albums or Facebook. Consumers can then pick up their prints in-store.

Duane Reade also has plans to roll out an Android version of the app.

Mobile past
Over the past year, social and mobile have played a big role for Duane Reade.

Most recently, the drug store chain partnered with Google’s augmented reality app Ingress to bring mobile gaming in-store (see story).

Additionally, the company incorporated SMS calls-to-action in its print magazine and ramped up its QR code and check-in initiatives last year (see story).

As a result of Duane Reade’s digital and social media push over the past seven months, the company claims to have grown its Twitter following from 15,000 to more than 390,000.

“The auspicious introduction of our Google Niantic Labs Ingress mobile gaming partnership and now an unveiling of the Duane Reade branded retail mobile application reinforces our commitment to be relevant on digital mediums where our customers are dedicating most of their time today,” Mr. Peters said.

“We need to cater to the extensive smartphone concentration in the New York metro area and growing customer engagement with retail and gaming apps in overall,” he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Related content: Duane Reade tries in-store mobile gaming to drive foot traffic, Duane Reade attacks allergy season with weather-based mobile coupons, Duane Reade app sets in-store agenda to match Walgreens’ innovations, Q&A: Duane Reade’s Calvin Peters on combining social, mobile and content,

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