Drayton & Taverham

From Taverham to Times Square

Just Regional
Jul 18, 2016 3 mins read

When Boots customer assistant Vickie Ward agreed to help in the development of a new app, little did she know it would lead to a trip to the Apple headquarters in California and an appearance on a Times Square billboard!

Vickie, who lives in Taverham and works in the Chapelfield Boots store, was asked if she’d like to go to IBM in London for a “day in the life of Boots” session to aid in the development of its Sales Assist app to make it easier and simpler for customers to get hold of the products they want.

“There were 12 people at the session from all different sizes and types of Boots stores,” explained Vickie.

“They invited me back to a feedback session after trialling the app for a few days – I think it was because I was the only one to speak up during the workshops!

“And then they said they were sending me to the Apple headquarters in Cupertino, California, for some design workshops.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The app was a big international story as Boots UK was the first retailer in the world to roll out the IBM MobileFirst for iOS Sales Assist app, which is now being used by colleagues across Boots’ 2,500 store network.

“I had no idea that it was going to appear on Times Square,” said Vickie. “I was filling up the make-up displays and my sister, who’s also my manager, came down and told me I had to get my phone because I was on Facebook tagged into a picture of me on a billboard on Times Square!

“I had so many emails and messages on social media from people who had seen it. It was really surreal. Even my mum, who doesn’t do computers, was looking at it. It was just mad!”

The new app taps into the product databases on boots.com 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.

If a product is not in stock in store, the Boots colleague can simply use the app to locate the item in another Boots store nearby or offer to order the product online to be collected in the store of their choice the next day.

“It was a great experience and it was nice that Boots took the time to ask its colleagues to help develop the app,” said Vickie.

IMG_0550 BOOTS-UK in Times Square RESIZED

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