Walgreens launches iBeacon pilot

Walgreens (NYSE:WAG) is the latest retailer to launch a pilot using iBeacon technology to track shoppers inside stores and send digital incentives to their smartphones.

Walgreens is launching the iBeacon test program in 10 Duane Reade locations in Manhattan. The retailer announced the initiative at the Mcommerce Summit, according to Mobile Commerce Daily.

The technology has been integrated into the Duane Reade mobile app for use with the brand's mobile coupon program. When shoppers enter a Duane Reade store, they will receive a reminder to present digital coupons at checkout to activate the savings. The micro-location technology uses a low-energy Bluetooth (BLE) signal to enable mobile app alerts. Transmitters are placed throughout the store and shoppers who have downloaded the app are detected when they walk by. Shoppers who opt-in can be reminded of loyalty rewards or be directed to a custom special offer.

Walgreens launched the pilot after discovering that the average in-store, online and mobile shopper spends six times more than the average store-only shopper. The company is optimistic the test will boost the number of digital coupons redeemed at the register.

Mobile has been a key focus for Walgreens this year. Based on surveys that Walgreens has run among app users, 55 percent of app owners used its mobile app while in-store during 2013, which is up 42 percent from last year. In 2013, mobile made up 51 percent of online traffic at walgreens.com, and more than half of emails are read on a smartphone or tablet, the company said.

This marks the second recent digital development for Walgreens, which last month announced it had teamed up with Coupons.com to launch a Retailer iQ targeting and analytics platform in all of its 8,000 stores. The program is designed to personalize promotions, checkout offers and mobile incentives for shoppers. The partnership will include a push for digital e-receipts via text message and email, personalized recommendations for products and coupons, integrated shopping lists and real time analytics.

For more:
-See this Mobile Commerce Daily article

Related stories:
Mobile payments, in-store tracking among key trends to watch
Shoppers reject in-store tracking by retailers
Apple rolls out iBeacon sensors in all U.S. retail stores
Safeway, Giant Eagle beam up iBeacon to 150 stores
Macy's launches ShopBeacon technology to detect when customers enter stores