Rite Aid, the pharmacy chain with approximately 4,600 stores throughout the US, hosts its National Store Operations Meeting every year. The meeting is an opportunity to bring together over 1200 field and corporate leaders to celebrate victories from the previous year and discuss strategies for the upcoming fiscal year.
Rite Aid was looking for a logistical tool that would help attendees’ navigate the event and reduce printing costs, but what they ended up with was an empowering social community that many of their employees continued to use post event.
“From day one we were impressed with the usability, the functionality, and the content management system [CMS] for the app. We needed an app that met our specific needs and expectations with a quick turnaround. DoubleDutch checked all our boxes and then some.”
—Brian Dein, VP of Operations, Rite-Aid
Starting as a Logistical Tool: Going Paperless to Cut Costs and Streamline Operations
The app was launched about a week before the meeting began, and the Rite Aid team decided to up the ante by assigning point values to actions in the app. They planned to go paperless, so they wanted to be sure attendees were already in the app before the event to receive important updates and have access to logistical information like the agenda and a map of the venue.
Rite Aid decided to promote the app via email, newsletter and webinar. Adoption was crucial because the app was going to be the sole navigating, agenda and informational tool for attendees throughout the event. Despite initial concerns, “as soon as we sent out the email with a link to download the app it blew up,” said Dein, with attendees sharing photos, posting updates and interacting with one another nonstop.
Another huge advantage of switching from paper guide to app was eliminating on-site registration entirely. The agenda and maps were in the app, there was a build-a-badge station and attendees could claim their gift bags from their seats in the first session. This streamlined what used to be a time-consuming process that often led to congestion at the entrance and delays.
Evolving into something more: Using the App to Build Social Community
The Rite Aid team also leveraged “Game Day”, which is a live stream of what people are posting in the app and the leaderboard. They showed the stream on large screens at every entrance to the main ballroom, getting people really excited to see themselves and their colleagues’ updates and position on the leaderboard. People really got into the gamification, with everyone vying for the top spot.
The app also became a digital medium for attendees to support, congratulate, and encourage one another. Attendees that received recognition for years of service or being top performers were photographed and celebrated in the app.
“We decided to go with DoubleDutch for purely logistical reasons, but the app ended up being an empowering social asset. It fostered a Rite Aid community for all in attendance and it enabled them to share recognition for one another and excitement for the coming year,” said Dein. “And to top it all off, the app worked flawlessly between the ease of getting in and the responsiveness of the app. We got zero complaints from attendees.”
Keeping the Magic Alive
The app was a great vehicle for constructive feedback, with the Rite Aid team sending out surveys throughout the event. The app also acted as a conduit for an internal conversation about what went well and what could be done better, complementing the more extensive survey that was sent to attendees post event.
Even after the National Store Operations Meeting was over, the app posting frenzy didn’t stop. Many of the field leaders that were in attendance have gone on to share what they learned with store and pharmacy managers from their region for eight-hour training days. The field leaders were posting photos of top performers and years-of-service milestones and are continuing to use the app as a way to show recognition and appreciation.
“We decided to go with DoubleDutch for purely logistical reasons, but the app ended up being an empowering social asset. It fostered a Rite Aid community for all in attendance and it enabled them to share recognition for one another and excitement for the coming year.”
—Brian Dein, VP of Operations, Rite-Aid