The first reason could potentially be because the program lacked effective in-store marketing support. The second reason could be because RiteAid.com was not relevant to me. Anytime I needed a refill, a quick Google search returned the closest location with click-to-call functionality. So, almost 2 years later Rite Aid started to become digitally relevant in my mind.
Rite Aid needs to rise to the next level to continue to retain me as a customer. I’ve been monitoring Walgreen’s successful multi-channel loyalty strategy over the past year. They’ve continuously provided their customers with choice, control and convenience via the mobile channel through tactics such as mobile and iPad apps, text alerts, mobile Web and video. These choices are all beautifully promoted and tied together, continuing to help drive conversions, while reducing exposure to switching. They entered into the digital space with their on-line and mobile prescription refill service and have evolved to continue to manage health and loyalty through the mobile channel. The most recent update announced this week is the pill reminder function that sends push notifications to remind customers when to take their prescriptions, which can be hourly, daily, weekly monthly on specific dates or more. By continuously adding additional tethers to their customers through these multi-channel programs, they make it very challenging for a switch to occur.
In today’s digital world, brands need to ensure they are offering customers both choice and control, or else the reasons to be loyal and return start to dwindle. For Rite Aid, it may have started with an SMS program, but developing those additional tethers will be critical or else I will continue to search for other options that provide more convenience.
Here at Knotice, we work with our customers to deliver an exquisite tactical execution like Walgreens has. These executions should have bigger business implications and drive benefit for layers of a business. For example, as mentioned earlier the more positive experiences that are created, the risk for switching dwindles. Perhaps an even bigger business implication associated is the high margin, low thought aspect of what happens when consumers continue to visit in-store. Both brands make huge margins on the little extras and conveniences consumers pick up when in-store – such as buying a birthday card, picking up a trinket, nail file, bottle of water, balloon, etc. But lately, stores like Walgreens have been incorporating location-based services to promote specials on larger stock-up items. So, though the introduction and refinement of their pharmacy program, Walgreens has found ways to capture more business on other fronts. Perhaps most importantly, through their seamless cross-channel mobile experiences, they will have a much easier time introducing future technology innovations. Mobile payments anyone?