Promotion underscores retailer's shift to digital.
Walgreens today put a Foursquare twist on its classic "Friends & Family Day" promotion. Most of the retail chain's 7,600 locations are offering store patrons who check in on the geo-social platform 15 percent off eligible items and 20 percent off Walgreens-branded products.
Rich Lesperance, Walgreens' director of e-commerce marketing, told ClickZ the promotion has also been advertised on Facebook, Twitter, and to the brand's SMS and email lists. Lesperance said there wasn't a print component to the 110-year-old brand's effort.
"While the offer is not exclusive to Foursquare," he explained, "it's the first time we've done a Foursquare special across the chain."
In the last month, Foursquare has put in an automated feature that lets marketers run offers across numerous locations. Before the upgrade, Walgreens and other chains had to manually implement a special or a tip on the geo-social platform one location page at a time.
Walgreens has 35,000 Foursquare followers, which, according to Foursquarebrands.com, ranks first among retail brands. Lesperance sounded tickled to add geo-social to the "Friends & Family Day" mix while recalling how the promotion used to be orchestrated.
"When they announced the change, it was very interesting to us," he said. "We decided right away to do a national special…We used to print everything out on paper. Then we had to get the paper out to the stores at all the locations. We would put stacks of them out and customers would grab them. Now, we do it all digitally."
Lesperance commented about how digital consumers increasingly have distinct channel preferences. "Some people prefer email," he said. "Some people have smartphones. Some people don't have smartphones but feel real comfortable with texting. Some people feel better about being able to print out a piece of paper and bring it with them to the store. We are definitely seeing good response across all [digital] channels for these promotions. We are simply trying to give people a range of choices."
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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