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Walgreens maps out mobile strategy with in-store navigation app

July 18, 2012

Walgreens customers can access store maps via aisle411

Walgreens continues to broaden its mobile strategy by giving in-store customers a way to use their smartphones to view a store map and locate the section where a specific product can be found.

The virtual mapping and navigation features for Walgreens are available via the aisle411 app. The app can be used in all of Walgreens 7,907 drugstores nationwide to view a map of that store and help customers find what they are looking for.

“Walgreens has built their business around striving to be the most convenient shopping experience available,” said Nathan Pettyjohn, CEO of aisle411, Palo Alto, CA. 

“With a December 2010 Study by Accenture finding 73% of smartphone users preferring to use their phone for assistance in-store, I think Walgreens is continuing to deliver on their promise of offering one of the most convenient shopping solutions for customers, and especially with over 50% of the US owning a smartphone now,” he said. 

“Additionally, Walgreens realizes that today’s shoppers, are omni-channel shoppers, meaning they may shop online, in-store, via mobile, or all of the above. To provide the best possible shopping experience, leading retailers such as Walgreens are working to connect all those points on the path-to-purchase for its customers.”

A clear path
A virtual mapping and navigation smartphone app makes sense for a retailer such as Walgreens because busy consumers do not want to spend time trying to find items on their shopping list.

Nearly 84 percent of shoppers have difficulty finding products on store shelves and more than 20 percent of shoppers leave the store without their full purchase intent, according to a national survey commissioned by aisle411.

Aisle411’s research also shows that when a store map is available, 90 percent of users will view a map of their shopping list, or a mapped location of a product versus a list view. 

The aisle411 shopping companion app enables users to create, organize and share shopping lists that are organized by product category and section of the store. Users can build their list by scanning items in their pantry. They can also search, save and share recipes.

The aisle411 app is available for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play store.

Enhancing the customer experience

On-site navigation apps have been offered by malls for a while and are now increasingly finding their way into larger stores and other facilities where consumers could benefit from directions.

For example, Las Vegas resorts The Venetian and The Palazzo have launched a joint mapping app to help visitors find the many stores, restaurants and facilities they offer (see story).

The integration with aisle411 is just the latest example of how Walgreens is leveraging mobile to enhance the customer experience.

For example, the retailer recently teamed up with foursquare to roll out a mobile coupon program that lets consumers save money on products when they check-in to any location nationwide (see story).

Additionally, Walgreens updated its iPhone and Android apps to include a pill reminder function, the ability to transfer prescriptions to a Walgreens pharmacy and to order pictures via the app (see story).

Mobile accounts for 40 percent of the Walgreens’ online prescription refills, according to the company.

“We’re excited to have Walgreens as a partner, as they have proven to be one of the leading retailers in delivering a great user experience through their mobile offerings,” Mr. Pettyjohn said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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