Online sales grew by more than 30% in the fourth quarter, but store sales slid by 6.1% year over year.
Shoppers with smartphones who subscribe to a mobile/social shopping service like foursquare or Facebook Places can now receive Walgreens promotions on their phones as they enter a Walgreens store.
With more consumers using their mobile phones as shopping devices, drugstore chain Walgreen Co. wants its chain of Walgreens stores more closely tied to the action.
As soon as a customer walks into a store, in fact, she can receive product recommendations and promotions for that store on her phone. The shopper just has to check into a mobile/social shopping service such as foursquare or Facebook Places—which let its users see offers from nearby retailers as well as see if any online friends are nearby—or she can simply post a relevant tweet on Twitter, the Internet messaging service, while shopping.
Walgreens is using technology from LocalResponse to monitor its brand name and consumer activity and respond to consumers who mention Walgreens or its product categories in social media. Walgreens also uses the LocalResponse platform, hosted on the web, to set the content of mobile messages.
For example, if a consumer checks in via foursquare at a Walgreens store and elects to share information about a Walgreens special offer on cosmetics via foursquare's integrated Twitter sharing function, foursquare automatically posts a tweet with a Walgreens mention. LocalResponse catches the reference by monitoring mentions on Twitter and other social networks through aggregated real-time data it buys from Gnip, a data provider.
LocalResponse then sends a tweet with that consumer's Twitter name beginning with the @ symbol and the Walgreens promotional message—perhaps an offer for a makeup mirror to go with the cosmetics she had shared via foursquare and Twitter.
"We're pleased with the current program and have seen a more than 90% positive sentiment from our customers and redemption rates that far exceed traditional coupon programs," says Adam Kmiec, Walgreens' director of social media.