Walgreens doubles down on healthcare positioning with local digital marketplace
- Walgreens is debuting a new digital platform and marketplace, called Find Care Now, that will connect the company’s mobile and online users to healthcare services at Walgreens locations and community providers in certain areas, per a news release.
- Find Care Now will help consumers search for local and digital healthcare services, including clinics, urgent care, telehealth, lab tests, physician second opinions, house calls and optical and hearing services, as alternatives to emergency room visits. The services include physicians or nurse practitioners at urgent care centers located at Walgreens locations or stores with Healthcare Clinic, and other retail clinic services. Behavioral health therapists, optometrists, dermatologists, hearing care professionals and diagnostic lab services are also available in certain areas.
- Users can access Find Care Now via the Walgreens app or online through the “Health Services” section. Availability of options depends on a user’s location and health status, and consumers can view pricing information, schedule visits and participate in virtual consultations.
As the U.S. healthcare system continues to become more complex and expensive, Walgreens is positioning itself as a one-stop shop for consumers’ healthcare needs, helping them take control of their health and streamline the process of accessing care in their communities. Find Care Now will likely also help Walgreens grow its mobile user base, which now includes 5 million active monthly users and more than 50 million downloads, according to the news release.
Find Care Now is in line with the new marketing strategy that Walgreens unveiled in December to “champion” health and well-being and emphasize care, accessibility and trust. The drugstore chain has been moving away from its “Corner of Happy and Healthy” branding to a new tagline focusing on its history and longevity, “Walgreens. Trusted since 1901.”
Consumers are often on-the-go, spending an average of five hours per day on their mobile devices, according to research by Flurry, cited by TechCrunch. Mobile is also increasingly where consumers carry out their daily functions, including communications and shopping. Walgreens is tapping into consumers’ growing interest in telemedicine and attempting to reach younger consumers with its tech-forward approach. A 2016 survey by the American Telemedicine Association and Wego Health found that just 22% of consumers had used telehealth to meet with a provider, but 78% wanted to use telehealth but didn’t have access to it.
Other health-focused brands are embracing technology to help inform consumers’ health decisions. WebMD announced a partnership with Reckitt Beckiser in November to launch a chatbot that includes queries from cough medicine brand Mucinex. The chatbot will prompt WebMD users who look up cold and flu symptoms to ask questions about their illness.