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Walgreens drives Black Friday sales with instant Starbucks coupon for app users

With consumers expected to be out in large numbers to shop and looking for deals over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, Walgreens wants to make life easier for customers by sending real-time, relevant offers directly to them. The instant coupon shows up when users open the app and can be swiped to reveal exclusive Walgreens offers and discounts on Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Coffee products.

“In order to be a convenient destination for health and daily living, we design mobile apps to make shopping easier, fun and less expensive,” said James Graham, corporate media relations at Walgreen Co., Deerfield, IL. “We want our shoppers’ mobile experiences to become a seamlessly-integrated part of the total Walgreens shopping experience.

“Coupon promotions add value to your visit, photo apps give you more reasons to visit, in-store maps and scan-to-refill prescription apps make it all faster and easier,” he said.

“People are busier at the holidays and they have more shopping to do, so our mobile offerings are of greater value at this time of year.  They save you money, increase convenience and add a dose of fun.”

Passbook integration
Walgreens updated its app to provide more personalized and relevant experiences for on-the-go and in-store customers.

When users open the Walgreens app home screen beginning Black Friday through Sunday, Nov. 25, they can swipe the screen to reveal the Starbucks-related offer at their local Walgreens.

The offers will also appear in iPhone’s Passbook for users who have integrated the app.

Customers will also have a chance to enter a Black Friday sweepstakes over the holiday weekend for a chance to win 1 million points for Walgreens Balance Rewards loyalty program.

Photo editing
Other updates to the app include new photo editing tools within the Walgreens app QuickPrints feature, which enables users to print photos directly from their devices to any Walgreens store. IPhone and iPad users can also order canvas or poster prints for the first time.

Additionally, users can set a preferred store and search for products at that location, use a digital shopping list to map and locate items in a store by posting a pin on the map as well as access Walgreens’ new Happy and Healthy magazine. IPad users can also access and customize 16 new holiday card templates that can be ordered and picked up at a local Walgreens.

“Our customers are already carrying smartphones into our stores,” Mr. Graham said. “With our loyalty program they are using the Walgreens app to scan their virtual loyalty card for Balance Rewards right off their phone.

“The logical next step is for us to offer great deals on mobile devices,” he said. “A year ago we launched mobile coupons that can be scanned at any of our locations right off the phone.

“Our Black Friday offering works the same way;  once the customer swipes the screen to reveal the coupon, the barcode can be scanned by our cashiers just like existing mobile coupons.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York