Boots UK, a pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer that is part of the Walgreens-Boots Alliance, has partnered with IBM to deploy a new app for sales associates. The company is the first retailer to offer IBM’s analytics-powered Sales Assist app, which is designed to help turn every salesperson into a personal shopper for in-store customers. The service is available in more than 2,300 stores.
The app uses beacon technology to locate and identify shoppers on the store floor, look up online inventory and suggest products based on previous purchases. Using deep analytics combined with customer data, it can provide real-time product and location information straight to the associate’s mobile device.
Boots is using IBM’s cloud platform Bluemix to link Sales Assist with its applications and data, which makes it easy for sales associates to recommend products and access inventory on Boots.com.
“Together, IBM and Apple are working with companies and retail 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, GM of Apple Partnership at IBM in a statement. “By empowering its colleagues with up-to-date data and product information delivered to the Apple device, Boots UK is leading amongst retailers by creating an enriched shopping experience that helps personalize customer engagement and enables faster service.”
This is not the first time Boots has equipped its employees with unique technology for providing an exceptional customer experience. As a “drugstore” cosmetics brand available in most Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, the company has made it easier to shop its wide range of makeup in locations where testers and samples are scarce or simply non-existent with its Foundation Match Made Service. Through the service, sales associates use a handheld device that matches a customer’s skin tone to the optimal Boots foundation color and texture.