My Connected Experience

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I needed to pick up a couple of items for a party I was hosting. I had just purchased a new picture frame and needed fill it with photos to replace the smiling models to hang on my wall. My friends spoke highly of the Walgreens photo app so I downloaded it, quickly made an account, then uploaded my photos to be picked up in a hour.

Upon checkout inside the store, I was asked to provide my loyalty card, which I did not have on me. (In fact, I probably had misplaced it years ago and don’t even remember registering for it.) The person behind the counter asked me to enter my phone number, then scanned a fresh card and handed it over to me. In the back my mind, I realized that I just added another item to my list knowing I would now have to sync this new loyalty card to my separate online account created just hours before. Full disclosure: This was something I knew I would never get around to doing until forced to do so the next time I wanted to order photos.

Within less than a week, I received an email from Walgreens saying, “We noticed you joined Balance™ Rewards, so for your convenience we’ve linked your membership to your existing account.”

I was amazed by this simple act for two reasons. First, they were able to use the right information (probably my email or phone number) to link the two disparate accounts automatically. Also, they have a marketing automation plan in place to send this email out and alert me of their actions regarding this convenience. Nice work, Walgreens’ digital team.

This simple action benefited both consumer and brand in three simple ways:

1. Willingness to Provide More Data: Within less than one week, Walgreens proved to me that they are using my data in ways to make my life simpler. This builds trust. Instead of having disjointed, disparate accounts across their app and in-store loyalty card, they have identified me as one person, an individual. Because I found direct value and convenience in exchange for the little data I gave them, I am much more willing to provide them with more information about myself (and my preferences) in hopes of a highly personalized experience, i.e., content, specials and coupons.

2. Increased Loyalty: After this positive experience with their photo app, I decided to try having my prescription filled at the same store later that week. My doctor sent the prescription through digitally and it was quickly imported into my account. Since this was the first time I was viewing it online, I had to go through a verification process, which synced up with my insurance to pull in accurate co-pay information. Much like my experience with their photo upload and account merging, this process was simple, integrated and seemingly secure. In addition, I was alerted they were out of the medicine I needed (via phone call and email) but they would have it available the next day. These conveniences have directly increased my loyalty, as it saved me the hassle of heading there after work only to find out my prescription was not ready.

3. Experience, Exploration and Sharing: When I downloaded their app, I went strictly to the photo tab (and eventually the pharmacy tab). With all of these great digital experiences piling up, I started to dabble with their other service offerings which might add convenience to my life. Just moments ago, I made an appointment for my flu shot, scheduled from my iPhone in about 45 seconds. These positive experiences encourage me to explore and use Walgreens even more often. And obviously, I am a person who loves to discuss my positive experiences with people and will continue to tell my family and friends about how convenient this experience was for my sometimes-hectic life.

The most unique part about this experience is that Walgreens identified points of frustration across the customer journey and saw an opportunity to automate a few annoying steps, which made my life easier. They made the effort to connect their data to provide the consumer with a better user experience.  In fact, if you want more information on topic of Connected Consumer Conversations, here’s a link to a recent video we hosted in the topic:

Think about all of the data you may be sitting on and not using. List it all out. Start to draw up connections between web, display, mobile, search, ecommerce, online, offline and all other data assets you have. Use these connections to help connect and identify profiles to provide your customers with an experience like mine. The end goal is simplifying and unifying the customer experience.

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