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01/13/2022

Walgreens localizes product search for customers

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Walgreens is enhancing digital search.

Walgreens is improving the digital search experience for its customers.

The drugstore giant is leveraging the Algolia application programming interface (API)-based search and discovery platform to help shoppers find relevant items available locally. Walgreens intends to use this more targeted product search capability to assist customers using omnichannel shopping and fulfillment features, such as same-day delivery and curbside pickup.

In addition, Walgreens intends to utilize Algolia’s optimized search and discovery functionality to drive conversions, cart sizes, and new promotions. Ultimately, the retailer seeks to increase revenue and improve customer loyalty and the shopping experience.

Walgreens initially deployed Algolia’s technology through the Microsoft Azure cloud platform within a single quarter, helping the retailer seamlessly transition from its former system to Algolia as its search and discovery platform. By implementing Algolia on Microsoft Azure, Walgreens has been able to take advantage of Azure Marketplace features, including a reduced transaction and procurement process, on-demand scalability, high availability, and cybersecurity.

“Working with Algolia enables us to deliver a frictionless experience for our digital shoppers,” said Lindsay Mikos, senior director of omnichannel strategy and programs for Walgreens. “From start to finish, the 16-week deployment and live production is providing real-time transparency for our shoppers for the items they are looking for. As buy online, pickup in store continues to trend upward for consumers, Algolia is helping Walgreens be even more agile with its e-commerce strategies and more responsive to customer demands.

“Adding the necessary modern search and discovery features on top of Walgreens’ previous platform may have taken up to 18 months,” said Mikos. “That’s more than a year of missed incremental revenue opportunities. With Algolia and its foundational API building blocks, Walgreens is able to benefit immediately, extending the Algolia APIs into Walgreens’ custom front-end architecture, while still being able to prepare for more advanced capabilities in the future.”

“Walgreens’ clear commitment to digital commerce transformation is second-to-none and has made them an ideal brand to work with,” said Bernadette Nixon, CEO, Algolia. “Walgreens is the perfect example of how search and discovery is more than what happens on a retailer’s site. With a faster, more relevant search, Walgreens is able to provide a seamless omnichannel experience that connects consumers with in-stock items nearby while leaning on one of its great strengths – the convenience of having a store in nearly every neighborhood.”

“Procuring technology has never been more complex. I am very excited that Microsoft Azure Marketplace could help connect Algolia with Walgreens and help simplify the process of finding, purchasing, and deploying Algolia’s search technology,” said Jake Zborowski, GM at Microsoft. “We hope that by streamlining discovery and purchase experience our customers, like Walgreens and Algolia, can focus their energy driving technology projects that lead to business growth versus spending extended cycles simply trying to find and purchase technology.”

Based in Deerfield, Ill., Walgreens operates nearly 9,000 retail locations across America, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.