As mcommerce continues its rapid evolution, industry observers and companies are on the constant hunt for new ideas and strategies to put themselves ahead of the competition.
Enter the Mcommerce Summit 2013, an annual assembly of major retailers, marketers and other brands and agencies. Now in its third year, the event attracted speakers from some of the world’s largest companies, including Walmart and Bank of America, as well as industry research giant Forrester.
A highlight of the conference was the “Increasing Customer Engagement with Mobile” report and presentation by Walgreens. The retail chain has placed a strong emphasis on developing digital and mobile properties and now boasts five distinct brand websites and 10 different mobile apps.
And with the mobile revenues flowing, industry members were eager to see which of Walgreens’ practices could be emulated elsewhere.
Cashing in on Diversification
One of the most stunning facts from the Walgreens report was the multiple streams of Web traffic it receives. Only 50 percent of its current Web hits come from traditional computers. The remaining half are from mobile devices, with 80 percent of those hits from smartphones.
And more than half the company’s prescription refills are now done online, rather than in-person or over the phone.
Those diversified approaches appear to be yielding significant increases in the revenues earned per consumer. According to its own research, the company’s earnings from customers shopping in-store, on computers and via mobile devices is six times greater than the earnings of customers shopping exclusively in-store.
That trend demonstrates the enduring value of in-store shopping while underscoring the value of developing digital properties, particularly on the mobile front.
Harnessing the Power of Engagement
Walgreens has placed a strong emphasis on maximizing customer engagement. Like its overall mobile strategy, this approach wields multiple approaches. Foremost has been the development of one-stop apps that consolidate a number of varying functions into a single destination.
Mobile applications also focus on engaging the customer outside the store and through digital versions of older forms. Weekly ads can be received through the Walgreens app, and shopping lists can be created. Customers can also scan or type in prescription numbers to pull up refill information and initiate orders.
Once inside the store, mobile device owners can use their phones to retrieve coupons, navigate the sales floor and earn points on a digital rewards card.
By creating these mobile properties, Walgreens has developed a seamless and integrated mobile experience that maximizes engagement through user-friendly features.
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