A Walgreens executive at the recent Mcommerce Summit: State of Mobile Commerce 2014 revealed that the company has launched an iBeacon pilot program in several New York stores.
The decision to launch the iBeacon pilot is based on research by Walgreens showing that the average in-store, online, and mobile customer spends six times more than the average store-only shopper.
The iBeacon technology is being used as part of a larger in-store mobile coupon initiative that allows consumers to digitally “clip” coupons and redeem them via a bar code on a smartphone.
In addition, Walgreens hopes iBeacon will help consumers remember old coupons that may be saved on their phones.
“[With] in-store mode, we’re trying to remove the friction and make it easier and easier for customers,” McCauley said.
The iBeacon pilot and continued research continue Walgreens’ investment in mobile strategy’s for growth. The company was one of the early adopters of mobile; today, it has eleven different apps, an SMS program, and a mobile web site. Growing sectors for app-promoted incentives include the Walgreens pharmacy operations, as well as its photography services. Both have seen increased traffic as a result of enhanced mobile strategies initiated by the company. More than one mobile prescription takes place each second, said McCauley, and 40 percent of digital print orders now come from mobile.
Next up for the chain is better targeting of mobile coupons based on consumer behavior and preferences.
“We will try out a lot of these technologies, test them out quickly and get a feel for, ‘here’s what this technology can do,’ so those quick innovations, quick proof of concepts that never see a customer, we do multiple iterations of those every week,” McCauley said.