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Walgreens tests closed-loop mobile coupons delivered via PRIMP app

Walgreens and Duane Reade stores in New York are testing a new mobile coupon program enabling marketers to tie in-application offers directly to in-store purchases.

L’Oréal  is the first brand participant and delivering offers to users of the Pretty in My Pocket mobile social beauty shopping app that can be redeemed at participating retail locations. The program leverages Sparkfly technology that is integrated into Walgreens promotion engine, enabling redeemed coupons to be tied back to offers delivered via PRIMP.

“Sparkfly ties in-store offer redemptions to specific mobile ad impressions for each publishing channel so that advertisers can calculate ROI on ad spend,” said Catherine Tabor, founder/CEO of Sparkfly, Atlanta.

“Sparkfly provides transaction data at an individual consumer level for building profiles and targeting future offers,” she said.

“Sparkfly can validate a coupon in real-time down to the individual item level. Sparkfly has integrated with multiple leading retail point-of-sale software systems and promotions engines.”

Real-time discounts
The PRIMP app helps users sift through the wide assortment of beauty products available and make purchasing choices by providing product information from a network of friends and experts.

By scanning or searching for a product, users receive item-specific information including how-to videos, reviews, color swatches or a look for select L’Oréal Paris products.

Beginning July 19, users can find the L’Oréal coupon within the Perks section of the PRIMP app.

When checking out at a Walgreens or Duane Reade location, the user taps the “Redeem” button on the coupon page, which then displays a bar code that the consumer or store associate scans at checkout.

Sparkfly’s integration with the Walgreen’s promotion handles all of the validation and automatically applies the discount in real-time.  The consumer pays as usual.

Product discovery
Marketers receive rich item-level consumer purchase data, enabling them to measure the return on investment for their ad spend.

Walgreens was an early adopter of mobile in the retail space and has been reaping the benefits, with more than 50 percent of online prescription refills taking place via mobile.

The chain recently saw an 8.5 engagement rate with users of the MapMyFitness mobile app for a campaign touting the drugstore chain’s new Balance Rewards loyalty program (see story).

“Early results show mobile playing a huge part in product discovery, especially in consulting reviews and looking for coupons,” said Caroline Van Sickle, founder and CEO of PRIMP, Atlanta. “This behavior is especially prevalent in a female audience.

“Further, the behavior of sharing among a trusted and known community is even more powerful and prevalent in the PRIMP app,” she said. “PRIMP’s most popular activities are sharing looks and the specific products attached to the looks, as well as adding products to personalized virtual makeup bags.

“We are integrating perks into these popular activities so that the brand messages come across in a helpful way. The opportunity for brands is to have an authentic connection to the consumer, to know her likes and to communicate with her in a one-to-one context.”

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