Proximity Marketing Case Study with iBeacons: Duane Reade


Duane Reade now trialling iBeacons in several locations

An article published on Apple Insider reports that Duane Reade, a US based Pharmacy Chain has announced plans to bring iBeacon-powered proximity marketing to 10 Manhattan outlets in a new pilot program. The purpose of the trial is to strengthen their multi channel customer engagement strategy, and add to their social media success. Walgreens communications executive Calvin Peters said in a release. “Mobile interaction is at the core of our social media success as mobile and social are intrinsically linked; the addition of these new 2.0 features, as well as the integration of iBeacon technology, will continue to fuel our digital customer experience strategy, as we strive to push forward our New York Living Made Easy mantra.” 

iBeacons to trigger messages on the mobile device

Customers will be able to receive notifications, such as coupons, or product reviews on their lock screen as they approach a store. Customers might also get discount offers based on previous purchases, or have product reviews pushed to their devices as they evaluate items in the store.

Duane Read App incorporating iBeacon technology and proximity marketing messages

The iBeacon functions have been added to their exiting app and include other new features such as access to their in-store rewards account, historical coupon data, and maps of the store locations including shelf position for individual items.

Summary of this case study using iBeacons

By restricting the trial to a specific location (New York) and a finite number of stores Duane Reade has greatly increased the chances of success on this trial.  They are able to manage the technology, measure the results and make changes as necessary. Their use of the technology, guiding users to a particular item, down to the shelf space, is the perfect use case for ibeacon technology. Further expounded by incorporating their app to show relevant data, based on previous purchases further improves the chances of success.

I do however, think that their current implementation of the technology is a little obvious. I look forward to them incorporating even more of the ‘easier living’ use cases of proximity marketing.  I would like to interact with a pharmacy that knows I’m in the parking lot and gets my prescriptions ready for pickup when I get to the counter; no need for payment, as I’ve already taken care of it on my mobile device with my connected card. That is easy living, and I don’t think that we’re too far from it.