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Boots mobile app helps staff meet customer needs

28 June 2016 - 12:45 by Sarah Collinson

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The integration of mobile devices and services with the bricks and mortar retail experience is increasingly common. In many cases it is consumers who are being targeted with bespoke smartphone apps designed to enhance their next visit to high street stores.

This has been a necessary move by retailers, not simply to combat the rise of safe shopping online but also to ensure that e-commerce and in-store services complement one another rather than being on opposing sides.

Boots has announced the launch of its own app which should satisfy the needs of its customers. But rather than being available to people who want to shop at its outlets it is, instead, being provided for staff to make them more effective in their roles as sales assistants, according to Internet Retailing.

Two and a half thousand of the stores that Boots operates across the country have been endowed with the Sales Assist app, which is installed on iPads that employees can use to look up information on products and help customers make a more informed decision.

This not only includes details about the ingredients and details of products, but also gives access to reviews, ratings and other independent responses to items. Boots spokesperson, Robin Phillips, said that the introduction of this app was just the latest move in the firm’s omnichannel, mobile-led strategy for success.

Of course, the question that some may ask in response to this is why the app needs to be targeted at Boots employees when it might arguably make just as much sense to provide it to customers as well. The ubiquity of smartphones means that many consumers choose to download apps created by their favourite retailers to make the in-store experience more convenient.

Apps that allow people to carry out safe shopping online while they are visiting the high street are also popular, so even with this new app on offer to staff, Boots faces an uphill battle.