If you build it, they will — possibly download it, and eventually delete it. That’s if you’re not courting the engagement and loyalty of your app users. Catch up on this recent VB Live event where marketing experts from Walgreens and Rosetta Stone revealed exactly what it takes to increase ARPU and raise LTV the right way.

It might seem like an app like Walgreens has an unfair advantage when it comes to long-term engagement — after all, millions of customers need to refill their prescriptions every month.

But Benjamin Weiss, mobile product manager at Walgreens, says they’re definitely not resting on this consumer need — they’re acutely aware of the challenges in the mobile app market. “The switching opportunity [to other pharmacies] is one thing we have to deal with constantly,” says Weiss. “It’s about delivering a superior digital experience that’s better than our competitors, and constantly making sure that it’s as good as can possibly be, because customers have a lot of choice.”

He notes that the primary challenge any app has to solve, in every industry, are key points of friction that exist for your customers, and which opportunities or tools mobile specifically can offer to reduce or eliminate that friction.

“Our whole goal is to give customers back time in the their day,” Weiss says. “They have far more important things to be doing with their lives, and it’s the biggest value and the biggest thing that we can give them as a brand.”

Weiss notes that not only is mobile one of the best ways to eliminate lines and eliminate waiting, but the platform itself offers a tremendous number of powerful capabilities. It’s leveled up Walgreens’ ability to refill prescriptions for customers, allowing them to leverage operating system utilities like the camera to scan prescription bottle barcodes, and the phone’s GPS to point the customer to the nearest store.

But the built-in power of mobile goes beyond prescriptions. The company leverages Apple’s native HealthKit framework to power their Balanced Rewards for Healthy Choices loyalty program, an extension of the brand’s Balanced Rewards loyalty program — at 85 million members-strong, it’s the largest loyalty program in the U.S.

The Healthy Choices loyalty program incentivizes customers to keep moving along with other healthy activities in exchange for up to a thousand points a month. Apple counts the steps with the HealthKit app, while in the background the Walgreens app totes up the points.

“It ensures the app stays on the device for months, not just a couple of days or a couple of weeks,” Weiss explains. “Keeping the Walgreens app on your phone and passing that data to Walgreens, and then being rewarded is a really good feedback loop that helps to make sure customers feel like they’re getting value for having the app over the long haul, even if they’re maybe they’re not engaging with it more than once a week or once a month.”

Weiss says that in the end, to inspire real loyalty, mobile marketers need to go beyond the ordinary, and start thinking about exactly what a mobile platform offers — and all the places your brand can integrate with the operating system.

“I think people get too sucked into this idea of engagement thinking that it’s something that happens only when your app is in the foreground, and only you can take credit for that,” Weiss continues. “But the reality is that mobile is so much bigger than just your app.”

To learn more about the engagement opportunities and strategies you didn’t know you needed to start leveraging, catch up on our free VentureBeat panel.

Don’t miss out.

Access this free VB Live event on demand right here.

In this VB Live event, you’ll learn to:

  • Leverage in-app personalization to build loyalty
  • Proactively seek and secure high levels of customer satisfaction
  • Increase customer retention rate
  • Raise revenue per user
  • Implement strategies that increase LTV and increase ARPU


  • TJ Hunter, Sr. Director of Consumer Marketing for Rosetta Stone’s Consumer Division
  • Benjamin Weiss, Mobile Product Manager, Walgreens
  • Shahar Kaminitz, Founder & CEO, Insert
  • Stewart Rogers, Director of Marketing Technology, VentureBeat


  • Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This VB Live event is sponsored by Insert.