Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

As a Result of Walgreens’ Mobile-First Approach, In-Store Visitation Has Also Increased


Walgreens is a leading American pharmacy chain store established in the early 1900s and has its headquarters in Illinois (Walgreens, n.d). The firm was the first to create one of the most popular and advanced mobile platforms for its shoppers (Walgreen, n.d). The organization has stores spread in the United States. Walgreens is present in about nine countries and has hired over 300,000 workers (Walgreens, n.d). The firm works to ensure that the individuals live a healthy life, the planet is safe, sustainability in the market, and diversity in its work environment. Walgreens has been committed to these values for more than 100 years (Walgreens, n.d).

Two years after its formation, Walgreens was able to open four stores in Chicago. Before 1920, the organization had managed to open 20 stores (Walgreens, n.d). By 2019 the organization had more than 9000 stores in the United States. The organization’s flagship store was teamed-up with Eagle Food Center. Later, the organization changed its operating model to a corner pharmacy with its entrance facing the street (Walgreens, n.d). In the United States, Walgreens is among the most prominent pharmaceutical stores, with stores in all the states of the United States. The organization reports that it reaches an average of 8 million Americans every day through its 900 stores in every country and region and its online platform (Walgreens, n.d).

Since its inception 121 years ago, Walgreens has been a leader in the Retail drugs industry. The company recently introduced its app’s functionality with the Apple Watch, making it easier for customers to order a refill. According to Kartik Subramanian, Director of Mobile Product and Program Management at Walgreens, its success is measured by its convenience for its customers. He noted that the company is constantly looking for new ways to improve the customer experience. The goal of the new strategy is to make shopping easier for customers by making it as simple as possible.

Talking about a mobile-first approach is like discussing the plan because hardly any organizations have a mobile-first strategy. The company wanted to put their focus on creating one of the most sophisticated and advanced mobile platforms for its shoppers and visitors. In the future, as more people move to mobile platforms and spend more time on their devices, Walgreens needs to increase its focus on mobile. The organization also wanted to develop a friendly solution for sighted and visually impaired persons. There are many advantages of this strategy, such as helping the organization:

i) To create a fully accessible mobile platform to make the shoppers feel just as comfortable shopping online through their smartphones or tablets as they feel shopping in the store.

ii) To integrate its online shopping plans with its existing stores so that shoppers can shop through the app and walk into any store with self-service to make payments without waiting for any cashier.

iii) To provide shoppers with 24/7 access to their favorite products and make them feel comfortable shopping from the store or home.

iv) To help customers have time to pay for their purchases and make it convenient for everyone to complete the transaction at the time of their convenience.

Walgreens developed the myWalgreens app with the customers’ user needs in mind. It includes providing a surreal experience that will attract the existing and new clientele.

i) Mobile-first approach: The organization wanted to provide the best experience to its customers through mobile and ensure direct access through their smartphones and tablets. The company intended to take a mobile-friendly approach to provide the best shopping experience to its customers.

ii) Mobile Commerce: The solution also aims at creating a mobile commerce platform that integrates with existing stores and helps shoppers buy products without any hassle. By integrating mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, they would simplify the purchase process for its market segment.

ii) Integration with existing stores: The organization intends to integrate its online shopping plans with its existing stores so that customers can make payments in any store of their convenience. This digital transformation would also shine the spotlight on its existing physical stores to increase in-person visits and more engagement on its mobile app.

What Happened

To increase their customers’ satisfaction and convenience and improve shopping, Walgreens created a mobile platform. The creation was a mobile-first approach where the designers first focused on developing the mobile platform and then added features progressively to ensure the design fits a larger screen (Kats, 2017). With the mobile-first approach, the in-store visitation of clients also increased. Since the creation of the mobile app, it has gained over 50 million users who appreciate its operation and argues that the app has made their tasks of getting drugs from the store easier (Woods, 2019).

The company that invented the Malted Milk Shake introduced an innovation: the use of mobile coupons and messages. Through a pilot program in New York City, Walgreens is testing the use of iBeacon technology, which allows customers to receive mobile prompts in their local stores. Tim McCauley, Walgreens’ Mobile Commerce Director, explains the company’s approach to developing new mobile commerce technologies. According to McCauley, the app uses geofences to speed up accessing it. Other apps such as Google Wallet and Apple Pay are also being tested. All of these are linked to Walgreens’ loyalty program.

The mobile platform made it easier for users to refill and pick up their prescriptions. This simplicity made the application attract more users because they needed to make simple taps to get their orders (Woods, 2019). The in-store visitation increased because the app reduced an individual shopper’s time in the drug store. The shoppers only go to the drug store to pick up their orders. It enables refilling and picking orders to happen on the same day.

The mobile platform by Walgreens revolutionized the shopping experience in the drug store business. The users could use their mobile phones anywhere to get their drugs. The digital platform has also ensured that clients can easily check to determine whether a particular drug they need is available in the store in times of emergency. An individual visits Walgreens’ store for pickup when the drug can be found. The application has enabled users to enter and pick prescriptions they have shopped through their mobile form without registration at the store (Retail Info System [RIS], 2009). Walgreens released a brief report indicating the mobile app’s positive impact on its in-store visitation in 2015 (Comstock, 2015). The organization stated that about 48% of its users were intrigued to visit the physical store after encountering the Walgreens application (Comstock, 2015). It could increase the in-store visitation by 5.3 million in-store visits in a week due to the use of the mobile app (Comstock, 2015).

When it occurred

The organization introduced the Walgreens mobile app in 2009 (RIS, 2009). According to Retail Info System (RIS), the mobile application was launched the same year that Walgreens was re-launching its website (2009). In 2015, the organization launched an Apple Watch application to ensure that their clients adhere to medications (Walgreens, 2015). In June 2015, through its partnership with Apple Pay, the organization enabled immediate balance access (Walgreens, 2015). In 2015, the organization also redesigned its mobile app and released new features for the app (Comstock, 2015).

The rise of mobile apps has revolutionized the way people shop for goods and services in stores. According to an analysis by app Annies, Walgreens is the third most popular app for retailers. The Walgreens app is known for its useful features, such as photo prints and prescription refills. It also allows customers to shop for and order items from their smartphones. In 2011, Walgreens’ first app appeared on the iTunes store, 18 months ahead of its main rival, CVS Caremark. During an investor presentation, Wade Miquelon, the company’s chief financial officer, noted that mobile is going through the roof.

Where it occurred

The success occurred in all Walgreens stores where their customers used the Walgreens app. Walgreen app is an application created by Walgreens. Users can download the application on their mobile phones through the Google play store for android users or Appstore for iPhone users. The organization developed the app to enable users to live healthily, manage their time when shopping for their drugs, and save money (Walgreens, n.d). Users also can customize the application in the manner that they want. The app has an online pharmacy where users can easily order their prescription refill and a store locator that users can use to find stores closer to them. Users can also view photos and search through Walgreens’ different products. In the United States, the influx of in-store visitation due to the increased number of mobile app users is reflected in the over 900 stores spread throughout the United States (Walgreen, 2017).

Why the Walgreens’ mobile-first approach leads to an increase in in-store visitation

Different factors made the Walgreens mobile app a success. Firstly, the application was suited for all its users. Unlike other applications that only focus on millennials, the Walgreen app was also suitable for the older generations. The application had a secure auto-login and a TouchID feature essential for the older generation prone to forgetfulness. With these features, the aged are less likely to have a challenge in remembering their login credentials (Walgreens, 2017). The application developers also created a simplified menu that anyone can use despite their age. The reminder feature of the app is essential for older people who may be taking medications that require a daily intake. The older generation is also prone to having problems reading small fonts; the developers realized this challenge and created an app that allows users to increase the font size as they wish (Walgreens, 2017). The app also features rewards for older individuals who would use it to track their walking, blood pressure, and weight management (Walgreens, 2017). Walgreens updated its app for the iPhone to allow users to add savings and paperless coupons to their loyalty cards. This feature was designed to add value to their customers while driving in-store traffic. The new coupon clipping feature was introduced in the app’s Weekly Ad section and This Week’s Bonus Buys and Saving Book areas. The company’s mobile apps and features have been instrumental in helping Walgreens grow its business. These include the ability to print and scan coupons and send a Pill reminder on the Apple Watch.

Walgreens was ahead of the curve when it came to developing its app, which features various features and functions. These include the ability to scan a prescription’s bar code, order a refill, and attach offers and rewards to their purchases. Apple Pay is a great example of how a mobile wallet should be done. It functions similarly to a traditional wallet, and it shows how a brand can extend its loyalty beyond just one transaction. One of the largest loyalty programs in the US, Walgreens has over 72 million members. It will need to continue developing new ways to connect its members and the physical experience.

The second feature that led to the success of the mobile app is the Refill by the scan. Users using Android or Iphones can easily refill their prescription by scanning via their mobile phones (Barris, 2017). This feature made it simple for users to change their pickup store and the time they felt was ideal for getting their drugs. According to a report by Marketing Drive, after adopting Refill by scan, Walgreens saw an increase in individuals who used the mobile app to refill their orders (Barris, 2017). These features were more attractive to users, and as the number of users of the app increased, the number of in-store visits also increased because the users had to visit the stores to collect their drugs.

Another application feature that led to an influx in in-store visitation is the QuickPrints. This feature allowed users to manage and print photos on their phones and decide which store they wished to pick the image from; users could select to receive their photos within 60 minutes (Barris, 2017). QuickPrints, the chain’s feature, lets users manage their photos from their mobile devices. They could select pictures they want to print, enter their photo preferences, and apply coupons. The service then sent them to their preferred store.

The last feature that led to the success of the Walgreens mobile app is the paperless coupon. This feature significantly increased in-store visitation and improved users’ value from using the application (Barris, 2017). Walgreen’s mobile app had many stakeholders and advertisers for it to work properly. One of these stakeholders was Walgreens’ customers. These individuals provided feedback about how useful the app was and how it improved their lives (Woods, 2019). The users also gave suggestions such as whether the app should go on the Apple Watch and provide a quick response to the users. Walgreen’s mobile app was created to provide a more convenient experience for the customers. The app made the ordering and studying various drugs easier without visiting the store (Woods, 2019). The organization’s owners also received positive reviews about the benefits of using their mobile platform. The feedback indicated that it is easy for customers to use and has allowed them to pay through their accounts without having cash on hand (Woods, 2019).

People come into Walgreens to get their prescriptions filled. The goal is to make them feel better, and the chain hopes that by offering other products, they will also buy them. In-store experiences are also important to create a welcoming environment for customers, according to Laura Miller, Walgreen’s senior vice president of customer experience. She said that the company needs to make sure that its sales associates are the ones who are driving the loyalty. The company could also use its mobile strategy to enhance personal interactions with its customers. For instance, it could turn the prescription counter into a health hub that offers various services and products.

What could have been done?

The digital transformation of Walgreens’ mobile application has been a success. The developers created essential features for both the young and the old. The features were aimed at simplifying the process of shopping and refilling orders. The two features that led Walgreens to the success of their mobile app are Refill by scan and Refill by scan by quick prints (Barris, 2017).

The applications created a better experience for its consumers. As the number of customers using the app increased, so did the number of visits to their physical stores. These disposable technologies have allowed consumers to have a convenient, safe, and cost-effective method of purchasing pharmaceuticals (Barris, 2017). The features in the application also led to an increase in the number of individuals visiting the store. It increased both profits and in-store visitation of Walgreens. However, the firm should ensure that everything their customers order through their mobile application is available in store. Walgreens has made a significant change in its operations by implementing the mobile-first approach by reducing disappointment and improving the customers’ trust in the mobile app. The organization has gained more customers and lost less business by providing a simpler process for ordering drugs (Woods, 2019). The customers’ efficiency increased significantly since they could complete transactions at the time that they wanted. When they wanted to order new prescriptions, they could do so with their smartphones and tablets right at home or office. Walgreens also saw increased profit margins with its efficient plan to implement the mobile-first approach as more customers came through its shops (Woods, 2019).

Walgreens implemented a mobile-first approach to increase the number of customers and improve their business by:

Creating a mobile application that was suitable in all markets. The application was also easy to use and understand by all consumers. Creating digital-first processes that increased efficiency and saved time. By implementing digital-first procedures, the organization has increased the demand for its services and maintained profitability (Woods, 2019). The mobile-first approach has also allowed the organization to focus on its strengths, which were its physical stores, and scale its operations efficiently (Woods, 2019).

Eliminating any unnecessary information from the mobile application. By using a mobile-first approach, Walgreens has simplified its operations. The organization has increased efficiency and decreased the number of errors in its operations, which has increased the demand for its services (Woods, 2019). Creating a personalized shopping experience gives the consumer the option to add their prescription to their account. It allowed the organization to provide more efficient customer services (Woods, 2019).

Making it easier for users to order through their mobile devices. It allowed the organization to build a stronger relationship with its customers and create a better experience (Woods, 2019).

Replace their traditional retail model with a digital one. It highlighted their digital transformation, which gave the organization a better experience for its consumers (Woods, 2019).

Companies aiming to delve into digital transformation must consider the different impacts that it will have on the marketing mix before implementing it. The organization can successfully implement digital transformation by factoring and prioritizing the end-user needs.

By implementing the mobile-first approach, Walgreens has streamlined its business and created a better customer experience. The organization has successfully implemented digital transformation by enhancing its services by using these benefits (Woods, 2019).


The mobile-first approach plays a significant role in changing how an organization works. It is an important strategy that allows customers to do more tasks with their smartphones and tablets. This mobile-first approach aims to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between the two channels. Even without a mobile app, shoppers who go to physical and online stores are more likely to spend more than those who only go to the store. While Walgreens stores are known for serving unique customers, they have also been able to increase their revenue and engage with them better by leveraging the value of their omnichannel strategy. Walgreens implemented this strategy to create a new and simple platform for the users to complete the transactions at home without visiting the store.

The mobile-first movement has opened opportunities for businesses that have taken steps toward building mobile solutions. These businesses have created responsive websites which can adapt to different screen sizes and devices. Also, they have provided a mobile app that allows customers to complete transactions quickly and securely. The mobile-first approach is different from the traditional omnichannel strategy in that it focuses on building a smaller number of specialized apps rather than an entire website. The organization then links these apps to its main platform for purchases, the physical store.

The success of Walgreen’s Mobile-First Approach is the increase in revenue, client retention, and increased In-Store Visitation. A customer using a mobile device may be closer to a store than one utilizing a traditional desktop or laptop when making an online purchase. The customer near the physical store may be more likely to visit the physical location and make a purchase since he is already nearby. Consumers familiar with the brand are likely to stay with it for products or services that they know about because they are comfortable with the company. Part of consumers’ loyalty rests on their decision-making process of which company they choose over others. In this case, Walgreens’ customers were already familiar with the company and felt comfortable buying through its mobile app, increasing the customer retention rate. The new method of purchasing Walgreens products and services combined with the location-based marketing strategy also increased in-store visitation. According to the statistics, a customer who has visited a store can be more likely to purchase than those who have not visited the physical store. The second factor that was affected by Walgreens’ mobile app was its performance in addition to profit. The company has said that it will continue its improvements so that more clients can gain from its mobile application. Therefore, the company adapted its approach to meet customers’ needs as they are changing so quickly as technology progresses. It led to the success of its mobile approach strategy and application.


Barris, M. (2017). Walgreens must show more in-store mobile-savvy: analysis. Retrieved from Marketing Dive:

Comstock, J. (2015). Walgreens gets 5.3 million app-driven store visits per week. Retrieved from Mobile Health News: million-app-driven-store-visits-per-week

Kats, R. (2017). Walgreens: Mobile is a key component of multichannel loyalty strategy. Retrieved from Retail Dive: prescription-refills-come-from-mobile-app

Retail Info Systems. (2009). Walgreens Re-launches Web Site, Introduces Mobile App. Retrieved from Retail Info Systems: introduces-mobile-app

Walgreens. (2015). Walgreens Launches App for Apple Watch to Support Medication Adherence. Retrieved from Walgreens: center/news/walgreens-launches-app-for-apple-watch-to-support-medication adherence.htm

Walgreens. (2017). Walgreens Showing Mobile Apps Aren’t Just for Millennials. Retrieved from Walgreens: apps-arent-just-for-millennials.htm

Walgreens. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved from Walgreens.

Woods, R. (2019). How Walgreens Maintains Mobile App Dominance. Retrieved from Adobe Blog: app-dominance


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics