Walmart’s app update to streamline in-store shopping
Walmart is making it easier for customers to plan their in-store shopping trips.
The discount giant is updating its mobile app with new services designed to streamline the in-store shopping experience. All upgrades will be featured through a feature called Store Assistant, which will be activated when customers walk in the door.
The new services include list-building capabilities that enable customers create shopping lists, and real-time access to stock availability — as well as product location — at a customer’s local store. It also calculates the cost of the shopping list.
The app also features “Store Maps,” a service the serves up maps unique to each of the chain’s 4,700 stores, as well as the aisle and shelf location of specific merchandise. The feature is already available for a handful of stores, and will be rolled out chainwide. It also highlights specific store departments, as well as operating hours and phone numbers.
The additions augment other features added last year, such as a prescription refill tool and the ability to wire money. In November, Walmart also added Mobile Express Returns, which enables online customers to begin the returns process in their app before even heading to their local store.
“We’re building a shopping tool unlike any other in retail – and one that makes virtually every element of the store shopping experience faster and more convenient,” said Daniel Eckert, senior VP, Walmart services and digital acceleration. “We’re excited about the Walmart app updates we’re launching this week, but we’re even more excited about what’s to come.”
For example, the app will give customers the ability to “drop pins” on a store map — a move that will help them more easily locate specific items on their shopping lists. It will also enable customers to book services — like an oil change — in advance. Walmart is also exploring the integration of artificial intelligence, which will enable the company to automatically create lists for its customers, according to the company blog.
Shoppers Drug Mart expands Wellwise concept
Shoppers Drug Mart is expanding its Wellwise concept, which is a resource aimed towards helping Canadians take charge of the way they age. The retailer announced that it will be offering the service to all those in Canada who are interested via wellwise.ca.
The e-commerce site features a broad selection of products and direct-to-home deliveries. Included offerings range from low-impact fitness to compression socks to physiotherapy products to support gadgets and mobility products.
“In creating Wellwise, we put the focus on wellness, not illness,” Theresa Firestone, SVP, healthcare businesses, Shoppers Drug Mart said. “Wellwise offers an enjoyable shopping experience that gives Canadians the tools and advice they need to age powerfully, not just comfortably.”
In addition to product purchases, the website also will offer subscription services to automatically ship frequently purchased items at regular intervals. Those who shop on the site get the added benefit of earning PC Optimum points on their purchases as well.
“At Wellwise, people can find everything from travel accessories to mobility products to help them stay in their homes longer,” Scott Wilks, vice president Shoppers Home Health Care and Wellwise said. “No matter what stage of life people are in, Wellwise will be an important resource for Canadians looking to take control of how they age.”
Back in September 2017, Shoppers Drug Mart launched the first pilot store of its Wellwise initiative, and now the company is looking to open a second location in April.
Rite Aid arms patients to help fight worst flu season in decade
In response to a flu season that health experts are calling one of the most severe in the past decade, Rite Aid is making sure its pharmacies are stocked with flu shots. The effort comes as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Friday the highest rate of influenza-like illnesses since 2009 and the highest flu hospitalization rate since 2010, when the agency began keeping such records.
The CDC also reported that between Jan. 28-Feb. 3, 2018, flu and pneumonia accounted for 10% of deaths in the country.
“With the CDC reporting that we’ve not yet reached the peak of flu season and the potential for flu activity for several more weeks, we’re following the situation closely and making every effort to have flu shots available in all of our pharmacies,” Jocelyn Konrad, Rite Aid executive vice president of pharmacy, said. “We encourage anyone who hasn’t yet received a flu shot to get one today and protect themselves and those around them for the duration of the flu season.”
Flu shots are currently available at all Rite Aid pharmacies and are covered by most insurance plans with $0 co-pay, including Medicare Part B. Rite Aid certified immunizing pharmacists are able to administer flu shots, subject to state regulations, during pharmacy hours; no appointment is necessary.
Since pneumonia can be a serious and sometimes deadly complication of the flu, especially for older adults, the CDC also recommends the pneumococcal vaccine for those 65 and over. Rite Aid pharmacies also have supplies of pneumococcal shots, which can be administered at the same time as the flu shot, subject to state regulations. Like flu shots, pneumococcal shots are covered by many insurance plans and most customers with Medicare Part B will have $0 co-pay.
Rite Aid pharmacies also have supplies of the prescription medications Tamiflu and Relenza for those patients whose doctor has prescribed one of these medications. If necessary, Rite Aid pharmacists are trained to be able to compound Tamiflu for pediatric patients.
In addition, Rite Aid pharmacists are available to counsel customers on over-the-counter medicines, like pain relievers, cough and cold medicines and hydration products that can be used to help manage symptoms associated with the flu. To help prevent the spread of the flu, Rite Aid store shelves are also stocked with additional supplies of hand sanitizer and soaps, masks, gloves, tissues and household disinfectants.