BUSINESS: Boots UK Creates Unique Digital Shopping Experience


Boots UK is the first retailer in the world to roll out the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Sales Assist app, powered by analytics, for colleagues across its 2,500 store network. The leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer announced on 22 June the launch of Sales Assist across its UK stores to make it easier and simpler for customers to get hold of the products they need. 

IBM is working with Boots UK to further evolve the app and support the retailer’s vision to use mobility to change the way customers shop. Robin Phillips, Director of Omnichannel and Development at Boots UK said: “At Boots UK we’re investing in innovative new technology to further improve the retail experience for our customers, and mobility is at the forefront of this transformation.”img_0786

By developing Sales Assist, in collaboration with IBM and Apple, and launching it on the 3,700 iPads in their stores, Boots are integrating their digital and in-store presence to deliver an even better shopping environment for customers. “It will help even our smallest stores feel like a flagship shop, with access to the entire Boots range at their fingertips,” said Phillips.

Sales Assist is one of more than 100 apps in the IBM MobileFirst for iOS portfolio made exclusively for iPhone and iPad that are changing the nature of work for global companies in specific industries and professions.

The new app taps into the product databases on with iPad, and uses its analytics to enable colleagues to easily make personal recommendations to customers, such as additional items or alternatives available, as well as view item location and online inventory. 

Vickie Ward is a Boots Customer Assistant who was one of the team invited to help design and develop the app based on her experience of supporting the customer journey in store. Vickie said:

We worked hard to design the Sales Assist app around the needs of Boots colleagues, and using it gives us the confidence to provide our customers with the most up-to-date advice on products and offers on the spot. It helps us to give customers an even better and more personal experience, so that no one goes home disappointed.”

“Together, IBM and Apple are working with companies and real industry professionals to change how companies do business, and our collaboration with Boots UK is delivering a more contemporary approach to customer service,” said Mahmoud Naghshineh, general manager, Apple partnership, IBM. 

Boots is using Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, tolink Sales Assist with the company’s applications and data, enabling a high-performance, scalable and flexible hybrid cloud environment. As a result, the company can rapidly deliver recommendations to customers, seamlessly view inventory and more across, which runs on IBM WebSphere Commerce with integration services from IBM Global Business Services.


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