DEERFIELD, Ill. — One of Stefanie Kruse’s first career highlights was shaping the corporate revenue plan for the entire domestic network at American Airlines as an analyst fresh out of college. She was thrown this much more senior task by a manager who recognized her strong work ethic and ability to handle complex problems and tell a story with data.
“It taught me to say ‘yes’ to tough projects early on, and as a leader, has reminded me to lift up my team members by challenging them but providing support along the way,” she says.
As group vice president of digital commerce for Walgreens, Kruse has continued to be known for tackling complex problems. Highlights of her work have included rolling out an omnichannel offering that has redefined convenience for Walgreens’ customers and the industry. In 2020, the company launched pickup in 30 minutes and quickly followed that with delivery in one hour for front-store products. “This required a massive cross-functional effort and total change management across our support center and stores,” she says. “We rolled this out at a record pace and have continued to enhance and build on this as our flagship digital offering. “
Another highlight has been extending this to the digital pharmacy experience — which now falls under Kruse as well — to strengthen Walgreens’ convenience position there. The company recently introduced new same-day prescription delivery capabilities and improved the refill experience to create even more options for patients to easily get their medications however and wherever they choose. “Being able to have a direct impact on our communities and increasing access for our patients has been an absolute highlight,” Kruse comments.
Overseeing the digital front-store and pharmacy businesses for Walgreens, Kruse has responsibility for digital sales channels, omnichannel offerings and digital pharmacy operations. Her focus is on bringing together digital and physical experiences to make life easier for Walgreens customers and patients.
In her time at Walgreens, she has led several initiatives to improve the omnichannel customer journey, including upgrading digital search capabilities on Walgreens.com and the Walgreens app, and same-day delivery partnerships with Uber, DoorDash, Instacart and Shipt. She has also led the rollout of free, same-day delivery of HIV medications and Paxlovid, a COVID-19 oral antiviral therapy.
“At Walgreens our mission is to create more joyful lives through better health; to do this we must provide customers and patients with the most convenient health and wellness offerings and omnichannel solutions to meet their health needs,” she says. “We are currently the only retailer to offer around-the-clock delivery of health and wellness items, which we’ve seen is a primary customer use case for ordering from us late at night or in the early morning hours.”
The company also continues to optimize digital customer experiences. Within the app, patients can review their prescriptions, refill by scan, set up medication adherence reminders, chat live with a pharmacist, and more. “By optimizing our digital pharmacy experience, we’re giving patients more power over managing their own care.”
When it comes to shopping Walgreens.com and the app, the focus is on driving relevant solutions, offerings and promotions at the 1moments when customers need them. Insights from 110 million members of myWalgreens — the largest free health and wellness loyalty program — coupled with the company’s data stack helps it to predict customer problems and build a relationship that offers timely, meaningful solutions.