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Drugstores Go Mobile

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Not to be outdone by retail competitors in other segments, drugstore chains are stepping up their efforts in the mobile arena.

In late March CVS/pharmacy launched its first iPad app, providing shoppers with the chance to explore a virtual 3D CVS store via an intuitive, user-friendly and interactive experience. Two weeks later, Walgreen division Duane Reade launched its first mobile application for iOS devices intended to extend customer access to the chain’s pharmacy services, photo printers, prescription refills, in-store maps and more.

Both are looking to connect with shoppers who often use their mobile devices as a first point of contact, whether to check a location or compare prices.

The CVS/pharmacy app was designed to present an interactive pathway to shop the store and fill prescriptions. It also provides a personalized experience that is intended to help customers manage their healthcare and drugstore needs. The user-friendly virtual pharmacy interface relies on gesture movements native to touchscreen tablet environments. For example, with the swipe of a finger, customers can scroll through all their prescriptions and schedule refills.

Duane Reade’s new app, available in the iTunes store, is part of the chain’s ongoing commitment to bolstering the customer experience and its “New York Living Made Easy” principles. The app features numerous innovative tools, including the opportunity to connect Balance Rewards to Passbook, refill prescriptions by scanning the barcode and create a Printworthy card using a photo from a Facebook album.

As part of the chain’s effort to drive omni-channel engagement, Duane Reade has expanded its digital and social media initiatives. These programs are a key factor in the expansion of the drugstore’s Twitter community, which grew from 15,000 to 390,000 followers in seven months.