PHARMACY

A new hope

BY Michael Johnsen

Walgreens is the newest to jump into the loyalty game. Still, its Balance Rewards managed to sign up 16 million members within just two weeks of its mid-September launch.

In many ways, Balance Rewards represents some of the best thinking in customer loyalty. There’s a better-health incentive linked to the Walk with Walgreens program. There are complementary health offerings tied to participation. It is mobile-enabled and ties into its multichannel strategy. Points don’t expire. And the data from the program will help inform every facet of Walgreens’ business.

Look for learnings from the Alliance Boots loyalty program to help shape the program going forward — several aspects of the Advantage program would be unique here in the United States, particularly how it ties in with Boots’ holiday and beauty business.

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PHARMACY

CACDS show includes prescription-ordering kiosk

BY Alaric DeArment

TORONTO — Industry leaders at an annual retail pharmacy conference in Canada got a look at a kiosk that allows patients to order prescription drugs through an Internet connection.

TCE Group announced the introduction of its Pharma Kiosk, or PK+ terminal at the annual meeting of the Canadian Association of Chain Drug Stores in Toronto.

"Many of the high-level leaders we spoke to during the conference embraced this type of industry change by using technology to increase customers’ confidence," TCE Group president Amr Bannis said. "Many influential leaders understand that customers are so busy with work and other family obligations, it is often difficult to find the time to stand in line at traditional pharmacies and wait while their prescriptions are being filled."

The kiosk is designed to be located at any site, including such remote locations as office towers and shopping malls.

"By offering a PK+ terminal on site where customers work or shop, drug stores can offer yet another way to help them save time and money by filling their prescriptions via PK+ and receiving related healthcare services and information," Bannis said.


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Q&A: Manning up

BY Michael Johnsen

Natural Products Solutions recently announced the launch of VirMax T Testosterone. As part of that launch, DSN caught up with NPS president and CEO Marty Gallant to discuss men’s health supplements. 


DSN: Men aren’t too proactive addressing their own health issues. How do you market to them?


Marty Gallant: Here’s the bottom line: A man will never admit he’s having problems. … Our market research has shown that when it comes to the retail-end, it’s the wife who usually does the purchasing.


DSN: Men are known to lose muscle mass after age 40; does testosterone help improve muscle function?


Gallant: That’s exactly what it is. If you can keep your testosterone levels high, then you’re not going to lose the muscle mass. 


DSN: John Sally, NBA-all star, serves as a spokesman for these products. How did that come about?


Gallant: I met John at a natural products show. … We spent about an hour talking, and he told me about how his father and his brother had prostate issues, and that he travels the country discussing prostate health for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

To listen to the full audio Q&A, click here.

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