From AdWeek:

“Pharmacy chain Walgreens is introducing a more robust loyalty program called myWalgreens today, part of a thorough overhaul including a fully redesigned mobile app, the company announced … It’s a fitting–and necessary–time for Walgreens to bulk up its digital and ecommerce capabilities. Not only has the pandemic accelerated consumer adoption of digital payments and shopping, but online behemoths are making new investments in healthcare and pharmacy.”

Walgreens CMO CMO Pat McLean describes the move as “a redesigned mobile app experience that is a gateway to all things Walgreens … The real benefit here, it’s an app and a mobile-first experience.”

AdWeek writes that “the app itself features a number of health and wellness services for customers, including a 24/7 pharmacy chat and the ability to book appointments, personalized health and wellness advice, and real-time flu alerts. Walgreens noted that the previous version of the app had been downloaded more than 65 million times.”

The story also says that “Walgreens will transition the 100 million members (a number where it has CVS beat–its loyalty program has 62 million members) of its Balance Rewards program from a points-based system to a cash-based system … MyWalgreens also personalizes coupons and other offers based on the customer’s past shopping behavior, while the app allows members to connect their health and fitness devices, to which Walgreens is attaching additional benefits to incentivize healthier living.”

KC’s View:

Probably a coincidence that this announcement came at the end of a week in which Amazon announced new pharmacy initiatives. But …

I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day, someone with long and varied retail experience, and we agreed that to a great extent, chain drug stores such as CVS and Walgreens – category killers in their segment – have largely given away much of their competitive advantages.

Walk into any of these stores, and for the most part you see lots of stuff that has very little to do with health and wellness. Pharmacies, which should be a differential advantages, are at the back of the store. And while these chains are trying different approaches to establishing their credentials in health care – like CVS getting into the insurance business via Aetna – they may have left themselves open to attack from players like Amazon because they did not focus and innovate in the area where they could have been and should have been special.

The post As Competition Intensifies, Walgreen Tries To Up Its Loyalty Game appeared first on MNB.

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