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Rite Aid accelerates mobile strategy with new application for prescriptions, loyalty

Rite Aid is building on the company’s existing mobile strategy with the launch of its first application designed to make it easy for on-the-go customers to refill prescriptions and manage their loyalty account.

Rite Aid said it is launching the app in response to the growing traffic on its mobile-optimized Web site. The national drugstore chain also has a mobile-optimized site and a text alert program for prescription refills and pickups.

“A mobile app was the next logical step to engage our customers on their terms and offer additional convenience and expanded services,” said Eric Harkreader, a spokesman for Rite Aid, Camp Hill, PA.

“In my opinion, it greatly enhances customer experience by making some of the most basic services at Rite Aid even easier and offering new ones altogether,” he said.

“For instance, the one-click prescription refill scanning could not be simpler  – all you need is a smartphone, our new app and the prescription bottle that you are refilling. The Load2Card function is a great example of a feature.”

Distinguishing features
National drugstore chains such as Walgreens, CVS and Rite-Aid all have mobile strategies to help them drive customer loyalty by making it easier for on-the-go customers to manage their prescriptions.

One of the features offered by the new Rite Aid app is one-click prescription refills, enabling users to refill a prescription by using a smartphone’s camera to snap a picture of the barcode on a prescription bottle. Users can also enter the prescription number on the keypad or refill from past prescriptions already on file.

Customers can also use the app to transfer prescriptions from a competing pharmacy where allowed and sign up for text, email or phone alerts to notify them when a prescription is ready to be picked up or refilled.

Members of Rite Aid’s free customer loyalty program wellness+ can manage their accounts from anywhere via the app, which enables them to check their point status. Using Rite Aid’s Load2Card program, app users can also virtually clip coupons and add them to their wellness+ card for instant register savings.

“Our goals are to engage our customers on their terms, using the communication channels they prefer,” Mr. Harkreader said. “And also to further distinguish ourselves from the competition with features like the integration of wellness+, our free customer loyalty program.

“Right now, app users can access their wellness+ card and use it like a virtual loyalty card at our registers by ‘clipping’ coupons electronically and using Load2Card to get these discounts on the go – it is a definitely a different and more spontaneous way of using coupons,” he said.

A framework for growth
Customers using the Rite Aid mobile app can also browse the weekly sales circular at a glance with thumbnail page views, zoom in to get details or view items in a convenient list-view format. Items can be selected from the circular and added to a mobile shopping list.

Other features include the availability of information about the nearest Rite Aid stores and the ability call a store directly from the locator.

The app is available to download for free from Google Play and the Apple App Store.

Rite Aid will promote the new app in stores, via email, digital and print channels as well as by using its social channels.

The app builds on the chain’s mobile strategy, which includes a Web site that is optimized for mobile and Rx Reminders, a free prescription service that sends text, e-mail and/or phone alerts when a prescription is due for a refill or ready to be picked up.

“The mobile app expands on the mobile outreach we already have in place, including both the text alerts for pharmacy notifications and also the mobile-optimized site,” Mr. Harkreader said.

“Even more importantly, it lays a framework upon which we can build other services and promotional offers, giving our customers more ways to make informed shopping decisions and offering them greater value at the same time,” he said.