Fresh off a new pilot with Kroger, Walgreens is now sprucing up its beauty selection with the addition of digital subscription service Birchbox, which it will be bringing to stores early next year. After a series of online and offline improvements, the build-your-own-box model could be the perfect finishing touch to the brand’s new foundation.
This isn’t the first time Walgreens has dabbled in digital beauty. The brand revealed a new online feature called SkinID earlier this year, one of the first signals of its recognition that success in the beauty category now depends on digital. At one point, Walgreens was focused on using its mobile sites and apps to drive customers to physical locations. Now, as more and more of its peers studied in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box lock down their digital game, the chain too has realized that the consumer search begins online.
Before Birchbox, Walgreens also laid down some digital groundwork, perhaps in anticipation of its future in beauty. For example, the store prettied up its product pages with added features like availability and inventory for store pickup. It also gave its app a makeover, eventually earning it the highest average rating out of all tracked brands.
As Amazon continues to creep into the beauty space, Walgreens’ welcome of Birchbox could bring an added level of digital-meets-physical attraction to the store. If it succeeds, it could also secure the drugstore a place in the new, trending inner wellness world.