The app, already one of the most popular retailer apps with tens of millions of users nationwide, has garnered a particularly robust following among older Americans — a demographic rarely associated with adoption. Walgreens data shows that more than 20% of its app users are 55 and older.
According to a 2017 survey by Forrester Research Inc., just 9% of all smartphone owners who use shopping apps at least weekly are 55 and older. The app category with the highest proportion of weekly users 55 and over is news/media, at 16%.
Walgreens credits its mobile pharmacy features, such as Pill Reminder and Refill by Scan, for much of its app popularity among older Americans. In fact, 37% of those utilizing its mobile pharmacy tools are 55-plus. By comparison, Forrester data show that only 10% of smartphone owners who use health and wellness apps at least weekly are in the 55-plus category.
“One of the things we repeatedly hear is that customers really value their connections with individual pharmacists and staff,” said Mindy Heintskill, Walgreens’ divisional vice president of loyalty. “We wanted to replicate that connection digitally, so customers can get a high-value, personalized experience even when they can’t make it into a store.
“We created Pharmacy Chat, which enables customers to have access to trusted experts through our site or mobile app anytime of the day or night, wherever they are. We’ve also seen opportunities for tools like individual pill reminders and prescription alerts to help our customers simplify their daily lives.”
Enhancements within the app aimed at better meeting the needs and interests of older adult users include:
• Support of TouchID and secure auto-login, addressing a key obstacle for users who struggle to remember or locate user credentials, a greater challenge for less frequent users.
• Simplified menus, also welcomed by infrequent mobile app users unfamiliar with conventions that become familiar with use.
• A pill reminder feature helpful to older adults and seniors who are more likely to have multiple daily dosages to manage.
• Support for smartphones that offer font size options for apps.
• Balance Rewards for healthy choices, which gives users shopper loyalty points if they use the app to track walking, cycling, weight management, blood pressure and more.
“You know you’ve got a differentiator in the marketplace with this kind of traction,” Heintskill said. “With consumer expectations rising, we continue to put customer needs at the center of everything we do. The fact that more than 20% of our app users are in the 55-plus age group is a testament to the extensive research and consumer testing our team conducts to develop the most customer-centric tools for our users.
“We innovate based on our customers’ needs — not just for the fun of it.”