By Robin Phillips
As the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer, Boots UK is always looking for opportunities to deliver our customers the best possible care, no matter when and from where they are shopping with us.
Today, many of our interactions with customers involve mobile to varying degrees – whether customers are searching store locations or browsing products on their smartphone, making a purchase using a smartphone, or receiving personalized promotion offers via text or through social media channels.
With mobile, customers are empowered like never before. In fact, 45 percent of consumers use their phone for in-store price comparisons, and 65 percent of consumers have retailer apps on their phones. We recognize that mobile technology unlocks new levels of convenience and accessibility for our customers and are committed to making sure they are able to shop with us when, how and where suits them best.
To that end, Boots launched a mobile-optimized e-commerce site in 2011 to deliver a mobile experience that allows our customers to quickly and easily interact with our brand. With the “Tap into Boots” service, customers can use iPads in stores to order items through the site and collect them in-store, giving them access to a large selection — even in our smaller stores.
Last summer, we launched a digital app that tailors deals to shoppers based on their spending habits. Since then, the app has been downloaded over a million times. It works in conjunction with the Boots Advantage Card and gives customers an alternative to quarterly paper coupons. The app also includes a feature that allows shoppers to scan any product barcode to get more information including customer ratings and reviews. We want customers to be able to access the best of Boots in one, simple place.
Now we are turning our attention to enabling Boots retail assistants with mobile technology. We’re pleased to announce that we are piloting the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Sales Assist app to further empower our colleagues to be able to turn each customer interaction into a unique and personal experience. Boots colleagues will have access to real-time data and insight from across the company in the palm of their hands, allowing them to offer shoppers even greater levels of service — including real time stock availability and easy in-store ordering. Sales Assist has the potential to change the way Boots colleagues work.
Boots colleagues are at the front lines of our customer service and important ambassadors of our brand. It’s important that they be equipped with the information they need to best assist shoppers. We know that our customers don’t leave their mobile phones at home when they shop with us — and we wouldn’t want them to. From developing our own mobile technologies to piloting this new app with Apple and IBM, Boots will continue to look for ways to engage our customers, wherever they may be.