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Rite Aid drives consumers in-store via SMS service

The company worked with Sybase 365, which powers the new service. Customers can opt-in to receive pick-up reminders and also choose to get messages by text, email or by phone.

“Besides convenience, we want to help our patients stay current with their prescriptions and improve patient compliance in taking medications as prescribed,” said Cheryl Slavinsky, director of public relations at Rite Aid, Harrisburg, PA.

“Society has just been moving in the [mobile] direction,” she said. “People are on the go, and today most of us can do just about anything with our phones from reading our email to getting directions, finding restaurant reservations and doing a score of other things.” 

Rite Aid claims to be one of the nation’s leading drugstore chains with more than 4,700 stores in 31 states.

Sybase 365, a subsidiary of Sybase, Inc., enables mobile information services for mobile operators, financial institutions and enterprises.

Mobile alerts
Customers can opt-in to the receive alerts by signing up for the service online.

Patients must have an online MyRiteAid.com account and a completed MyPharmacy online profile to opt-in.

“We’re getting the word out about this with a homepage rotational banner on the Rite Aid Web site,” Ms. Slavinsky said.

Here is a banner running on the Web site:

Last year, Rite Aid saw a significant increase in store traffic by providing coupon offers to consumers via mobile.

When consumers texted the keyword MARCA to a specific short code they were provided a link to a coupon for $3 off a purchase of $15 or more.

The message produced a 7.6 percent click-through rate (see story).

Mobile homepage
There is also a homepage module and an easy online refills landing page that gives people a choice to get Rx reminders sent by phone, email or text.

“We have brochures, inserts in our prescription bags, and have publicized this in our weekly newspaper circulars,” she said.

Final Take