Walgreens re-launched its mobile app this week, and the new version enables in-store inventory search, remote prescription refills, scanning of items, and tracking rewards points. The goal is to end customer frustrations about unavailability of items, and compete with the convenience e-tailers (mainly Amazon) offer.
Our studies show e-commerce has not yet made headway in categories on drugstore shelves, particularly Personal and Home Care. Our Digital IQ Index: Home Care reveals e-commerce sales made up for less than 1% of the category revenue in 2013. The percentage was slightly higher for Hair Care: 1.3% as mentioned in our Digital IQ Index: Hair Care & Color.
Prompting the chicken-and-egg question, many category brands have not optimized for direct-to-consumer e-commerce. Have of brands in the Hair Care & Color Index link to third-party sites, and only a third are experimenting with DTC.
Due to their use, drugstore items are often needed immediately, and competing with Amazon in the delivery game can be a costly business. And in some cases (such as running out of soap, toilet paper, or household cleaner mid-cleaning spree) even next-day delivery is too late. Perhaps, brick-and-mortar locations are drugstores’ best assets for winning the digital game.