Walgreens’ New Digital Coolers: Are Shoppers Hot or Cold? [Video]
It’s the latest episode in As the World of Digital-Merchandising Turns.
In the span of just a few weeks, the Endcaps & Insights blog has shared video and shopper insights on three different retail developments, each at the busy intersection of merchandising and digital technology.
First there was Kroger’s new Microsoft-powered EDGE shelves. More recently we showed you two digital shelf-labels—one e-Ink, one LED—currently being tested by Walmart.
Now we turn our attention to the drugstore channel. As trumpeted in recent headlines, Walgreens is presently experimenting with digital coolers and freezers inside at least three of its stores.
The coolers, as the video below shows, are both sleek and savvy. The cooler’s bright, IOT-enabled screen presents products in their best light—orderly and attractively, with promotional messaging to boot.
That’s the sleek part.
The coolers are also reportedly equipped with cameras and sensors that can determine shopper traits like age and gender, information that can then be used to target shoppers with ads for relevant products.
That’s the savvy part.
But one important “part” remains a mystery: the shopper part.
What do shoppers think of Walgreens’ new digital coolers?
Shoppers Sound-Off on Walgreens’ Digital Coolers
To explore shoppers’ thoughts about Walgreens’ new state-of-the-art digital coolers, retail-auditing and insights firm Field Agent sent 21 agents to the drugstore’s three digital-cooler locations: nine agents to the New York location (145 4th Avenue), six agents to the Chicago location (151 North State Street), and six agents to the San Francisco location.
Because reports suggested there could be as many as five digital-cooler locations in San Francisco, Field Agent audited the cooler/freezer section of 58 Walgreens stores with a San Francisco address. As of late February, we could locate only one S.F.-based Walgreens featuring digital coolers: 135 Powell Street.
While inside their assigned Walgreens, agents captured video and photo of the avant garde coolers and freezers, while also taking time to share their thoughts about the innovative, new merchandising system.
The video below shows Walgreens’ digital coolers through the eyes of shoppers.
Yet questions remain: Do shoppers prefer these digital coolers to conventional, non-digital coolers? And how influential could these coolers be over actual purchase decisions? For the answer to these and many other questions...
Free Report: Walgreens' Digital Coolers
Following their visit to Walgreens in New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, Field Agent asked all 21 shoppers a series of questions about their encounter with the drugstore’s new digital coolers. Questions included…
- How influential would the digital coolers be over your purchase decisions in the store’s cooler/freezer section?
- Do you prefer conventional, non-digital coolers, or the digital coolers you encountered today?
- How would you rate the coolers on the following dimensions: ease of use, meeting a shopper need, innovation, and making you want to shop this store?
- How would you rate the “fit” of the digital ads (you were shown on the cooler door) to someone like you based on your age, gender, and the weather outside?
- How do you feel about the coolers being equipped with cameras/sensors to determine characteristics about you and to show you relevant ads?
The answers to these questions and others are available in our free Walgreens digital-cooler mystery shop report. Download it now.