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Walgreens, foursquare launch mobile coupon program to reward consumers

Consumers can check-in to any Walgreens location through foursquare using an iPhone, Android or BlackBerry device. Users will then get a unique scannable coupon, which they can redeem at the point-of-sale.

“Walgreens continues to evolve from a drugstore to a neighborhood retail health and daily living destination,” said Rich Lesperance, director of digital marketing and emerging media at Walgreens, Deerfield, IL.

“Digital offerings are one of the vehicles we are leveraging and where we continue to innovate to strengthen our personal connection with customers,” he said. “We are doing this by providing real-time value to the approximately six million people who visit Walgreens stores nationwide every day.

“This fits into a broader mobile, social, local strategy and builds on the success of other programs we have done across these channels – for example, we first launched mobile coupons in November in what has been a very successful initiative our mobile customers truly value.

Walgreens claims to be the nation’s largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion.

Coupons for all
The first coupon is for 50 percent off all varieties of Arizona Ice Tea cans. The coupon is available now through March 10.

There is a limit of one coupon per customer. Future coupon offers will be announced at a later date.

Walgreens first introduced mobile coupons through its apps in November.

The mobile coupon offering was launched on Black Friday with point-of-sale scanning available at all of Walgreens’ more than 7,800 stores nationwide.

According to the company, the initiative generated more than 500,000 downloads of its mobile app in December.

Additionally, the Walgreens and foursquare promotion is a great way to drive in-store traffic.

Consumers are constantly looking for incentives and offering them coupons when they check-in is a smart move for the company.

“The foursquare audience loves to check-in, and we have seen tremendous growth with this consumer segment and the many who shop at Walgreens and interact with us through mobile and social channels,” Mr. Lesperance said.

“These customers love it when we give them another reason to check-in,” he said. “Again, it builds on the success of other programs we have done such as our flu campaign, when we donated a flu shot to someone in need for every check-in as part of a larger initiative to provide more than $6 million flu shots to people in need.”

Word of mouth
Walgreens is using its social media outlets and channels to promote the program.

“But sometimes the best marketing is word-of-mouth and on foursquare itself,” Mr. Lesperance said.

“This includes cross-promotions from our partners, foursquare and Arizona Iced Tea, who are also telling their fans and followers,” he said. “It helps to strengthen our personal connections with customers with exclusive deals, paperless convenience, and real-time gratification that mobile makes possible.

“Most importantly, programs like foursquare are another way of saying thank you for visiting.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York