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Qualcomm to power Walgreens’ digital efforts

BY CSA STAFF

As it seeks to further improve its digital interaction with customers, Walgreens has chosen Qualcomm as its partner for device connectivity with the drugstore chain's mobile and web applications, as well as its Balance Rewards program.

“Whether transitioning from a hospital to the home or managing a chronic condition such as heart disease or diabetes, Walgreens' connectivity solution powered by Qualcomm Life will allow us to help our customers achieve improved health through regular biometric communication with their providers,” said Adam Pellegrini, Walgreens' divisional VP of digital health. “Additionally, Qualcomm Life’s platforms help us to reward participating customers for their choice to become more informed and engaged in their health care.”

Qualcomm Life’s 2net Platform will enable remote patient monitoring, transitional care support and chronic care management through a secure and seamless transmission of biometric data from patients’ connected medical devices. Walgreens' Balance Rewards program allows members to earn points for participating in various health-related programs and tracking progress toward a goal.With medical device connectivity powered by Qualcomm Life, Balance Rewards for healthy choices members can sync select mHealth devices directly to their Balance Rewards account, earning points and enabling pharmacists to electronically access biometrics and health status information. Compatible Walgreens devices include a wrist-worn blood pressure cuff, a traditional blood pressure cuff and a blood glucose meter.

“As the nation’s largest retail pharmacy with over 8,200 stores nationwide and with 82 million Balance Rewards members, Walgreens' penetration and reach exponentially expands the impact our collaboration can have on patient management, and underscores our vision for a world with access to care anytime and anywhere. This collaboration is a powerful demonstration of how our 2net Platform can amplify proven tools and solutions to enhance a patient’s health and experience,” said Rick Valencia, SVP and general manager, Qualcomm Life.

The Walgreens applications and Qualcomm-enabled branded devices will be available to consumers in the first half of 2015.

In addition to the Qualcomm partnership, Walgreens also announced that December sales increased 10.2% to $7.9 billion. Same store sales increased by 9.2% in December. December pharmacy sales increased by 15.7%, while same store pharmacy sales increased 14.2% and increased by a calendar day-shift adjusted 12.1%.

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MOBILITY

Verizon: January starts strong in online shopping

BY Marianne Wilson

New York — Closing out the 2014 holiday shopping season, Internet retail traffic soared to new heights during the first weekend in January, according to Verizon Enterprise Solutions’ Retail Index.

The Index measures average daily traffic and peak volumes, with both variables used an index with a baseline value of 100. The Index was 130 on Friday (Jan. 2), 134 on Saturday (Jan. 3) and 137 points on Sunday (Jan 4).

“With holiday promotions continuing through yesterday (Jan. 4), the season demonstrated that Black Friday is no longer the only factor for driving spikes in online shopping traffic,” said Michele Dupré, VP of retail & hospitality at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.” In addition, gift cards gave consumers a higher sense of discretionary income late in the season.”

Year-over year, online traffic was up three points on Friday, down four points on Saturday and up four points on Sunday, compared to the same period in 2014.

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Amazon: Sellers had ‘record-setting’ year in 2014

BY Marianne Wilson

Seattle — Amazon is not a company to shy away from touting its success. On Monday, the online giant announced that third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace sold a “record-setting” more than two billion items worldwide in 2014, and that the number of its sellers adopting the Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) service grew more than 65% year-over-year worldwide.

“It’s been a record-setting year for selling on Amazon,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “We’re seeing strong growth from sellers listing their items across our global marketplaces. In fact, there are now more than a billion offers for customers to browse from sellers who are listing items for sale outside their home country. The growth of mobile and the introduction of the Amazon Seller App have also been a big win for sellers this year.”

Amazon’s FBA service enables sellers to have Amazon store and ship their products directly to customers while offering Amazon Prime benefits, free shipping, and exporting to customers around the world and other benefits.

Critics pointed out that Amazon did not give the revenue generated by its sellers.

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