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Walgreens improves app functionality via photo cards

Walgreens has rolled out a new photo feature to its application as the company sees more than 40 percent of print orders coming from mobile.

The retailer’s iPhone app has been updated to include a themed feature called photo cards that lets consumers upload and create customized collages. Walgreens has steadily added photo-based features to its mobile app as consumers increasingly turn to their mobile device first to print photos.

“Overall, we’ve found that users desire convenience-based functionality,” said Mai Lee Ua, senior manager of media relations at Walgreens, Deerfield, IL.

“We’ve continued to enhance our app to meet that need,” she said. “For example, we increased the number of pictures that can be uploaded at one time.

“In early 2012, 15 percent of photo print orders came from mobile and today, it’s more than 40 percent.”

Mobile photos
Consumers can find the photo cards feature under the photos tab within the Walgreens iPhone app.

The photo cards are themed by special events, including birthdays, weddings and thank you cards.

To make a card, consumers are prompted to either take a new photo straight from their device’s camera or they can choose an existent photo on their camera roll to upload.

Once a photo has been selected, the picture can then be customized with a cropping tool.

The photo card itself can be customized with font style, size, alignment and color.

The card can then be ordered and printed to a Walgreens location that is nearby. The checkout feature also lets consumers choose how many pictures they want to print and shows the estimated pick-up time.

The Walgreens photo feature

Mobile past
Walgreens has built up its mobile strategy over the past few years with its app playing a key role.

In fact, an executive speaking at Forrester’s Forum For Customer Experience Professionals East conference in June explained how launching a loyalty program on mobile helped the brand amass 72 million members in the past nine months (see story).

Walgreens also recently teamed up with the Pretty In My Pocket app to dole out offers to drive in-store traffic (see story).

Consumers are increasingly taking to their mobile devices to not only take pictures, but also share them to friends and family and print orders.

“By weaving in innovative consumer technology, Walgreens lets customers engage whenever, wherever and however they choose, delivering a truly omnichannel experience,” Ms. Ua said.

“Our stores are located at the best corners throughout the country and our mobile efforts complement them to provide the most relevant customer experience,” she said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York