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Rite Aid increases store traffic with mobile coupons

November 12, 2009

Rite Aid, an American retail pharmacy, saw a significant increase in store traffic by providing coupon offers to consumers via mobile.

When consumers texted MARCA to a specific short code they were provided a link to a coupon for $3 off a purchase of $15 or more. The message produced a 7.6 percent click-through rate.

“Rite Aid’s objectives were to significantly increase store traffic and to have Hispanic consumers transfer their prescriptions to Rite Aid pharmacies,” said Jeff Hasen, chief marketing officer of HipCricket, Kirkland, WA. “The strategy was to provide two offers to opted-in Hispanic mobile subscribers – one for a relatively modest $3 coupon to get consumers to visit Rite Aid locations.

“The second offer – a $25 gift card – was obviously more substantial because its end result would be additional repeat customers for Rite Aid,” he said.

Of the 7.6 percent that clicked through the message, 2.5 percent clicked on an offer for a $25 gift card given to those who transferred their prescriptions to Rite Aid.

The Rite Aid campaign targeted Hispanics and mobile was ideal because this demographic has increasingly eluded mainstream advertisers using traditional, broad-brush media to reach its members with culturally-relevant messages.

Key indicators show mobile, and in particular SMS, to be the ideal medium for marketing to Hispanics.

Thirty-two percent of Hispanic mobile subscribers are interested or highly interested in receiving offers via mobile, according to the Mobile Marketing Association.

A whopping 87 percent of Hispanic households have multiple mobile phones and more than half regularly text, the same study found.

HipCricket tapped into this market when it launched the first Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network. The network involves more than 70 radio and television stations and brand distribution partners. It reaches Hispanic Americans in more than 40 markets, including 14 of the top 15 Hispanic markets.

Rite Aid also has a mobile site.

But mobile in the retail pharmacy industry isn’t a new idea.

Rite Aid rival CVS, built a mobile site to reach on-the-go consumers. At, consumers can handle many of their prescription-medicine needs (see story).

“HipCricket’s Hispanic Mobile Marketing Network provided a unique and ideal opportunity for Rite Aid to reach Hispanic mobile subscribers who had opted-in to receive information and offers from brands,” Mr. Hasen said. “The permission-based nature of the program is a key reason to why it was so successful.”

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Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor at Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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