November 25, 2009, 12:00 AM

Walgreens fills a prescription for mobile commerce

The retailing giant is thinking small, but that’s part of a big multichannel approach. It’s launched an m-commerce site and an iPhone app to round out its store and e-commerce channels for “a more holistic online solution,” the head of e-commerce says.

Retailing giant Walgreens has gone small, launching a mobile commerce site and iPhone mobile app. The m-commerce offerings are designed to round out the multichannel shopping experience, Walgreens says.

“We pride ourselves on having the most convenient locations throughout the U.S. and now Walgreens is adding greater convenience for our growing numbers of customers who shop with us online,” says Sona Chawla, senior vice president of e-commerce. “We’ve integrated our content, products and services to offer customers a more holistic online solution. Mobile is yet another extension of convenience to our customers. Our strategy is anytime, anywhere.”

Entering in a mobile browser automatically redirects a shopper from the e-commerce site to the m-commerce site. The iPhone app is available for free at Apple Inc’s App Store.

Through the site and the app, shoppers can order prescription refills on the go. Users can enter a prescription number and have it ready for in-store pickup, no registration required. Shoppers can also use a store locator to find a store by entering city and state or a ZIP code, or by using a smartphone’s GPS guidance system.

Additionally, consumers can access the W Photo program to view photos in W Photo albums and order prints directly from their mobile phones. And they can upload iPhone pictures and order prints of those photos for in-store pickup in as little as one hour.

Walgreen Co. is No.68 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide (a PDF version of the company’s financial and operating profile can be order by clicking on its name).

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