Walgreens still targeting retail's best corners with mobile strategy




DEERFIELD, Ill. — Years ago, Walgreens had a penchant for staking their store-development flag on the best retail corners across America on their way toward more than 8,200 locations. And they're still at it. Only this time, America's best retail corners are just a click away. 


In its heyday, the distance between Walgreens and its customers was measured in miles and minutes, noted Joe Rago, Walgreens director mobile innovation program, in a recent presentation at the Walgreens-sponsored Evans Data Developer Relations Conference. Today, that distance is measured in inches and instants as more and more shoppers transact with Walgreens over their smartphones. These are very valuable shoppers he noted, spending six times as much per year with Walgreens as compared to those customers who only walk through one of Walgreens' 8,200 doors.  


And the volume of Walgreens shoppers connecting to the Chicagoland retailer grows by leaps and bounds each year — in 2009 less than 1% of Walgreens online interactions were traced to mobile. Today, more than 60% of Walgreens' online traffic is done on a smartphone. 


Walgreens is the leading brick-and-click retailer when it comes to apps, according to the Internet Retailer App Index, Rago noted in his presentation.  


"We recently took a quick jump to the Palo Alto/Bay Area and sponsored the Evans Data Developer Relations Conference," Drew Schweinfurth, Walgreens developer evangelist, wrote in a blog on Thursday describing the presentation. "There, we witnessed a plethora of developer evangelists and developer relations program managers across a variety of companies and industries. ... Other than blowing minds and changing perspectives of Walgreens, [Rago] also received some great feedback on things to look forward to in our program."


In addition to posting Rago's presentation deck (embedded above), Schweinfurth also posted his presentation on "Trying New Things and Onboarding Developers" on his blog


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