Boots pushes online shopping

Embattled retailer Boots has relaunched its Website and taken its biggest step yet into e-commerce.

After eight months’ development, the site is now fully operational. It features 2,500 Boots product lines, including some big-ticket items – such as baby prams, cots and high chairs – that are not available elsewhere.

Boots plans to increase its e-commerce product lines, but declines to reveal how many, or how soon. Sources suggest they could increase to as many as 35,000 by the end of March, giving the high-street chemist a massive online presence.

Until now, the two-year-old boots.co.uk has been used as a channel for corporate information rather than a consumer-focused e-commerce operation. Boots has previously used the women’s portal, handbag.com – a joint venture with Hollinger Telegraph New Media, as its main consumer channel on the Internet.

The revamped Website will have links with handbag.com – it sponsors the health and beauty section and provides some content – but will target a different audience. The site is aimed at the whole family, with an emphasis on babycare, while handbag.com targets women.

There will be “minimal” marketing initially, says customer development manager Ben Latham. “We want to understand more about who’s coming to the site before we start promoting it.”

From now on, the Website address will be printed on all Boots bags, till receipts, ads and lorries.

The site was redesigned by Syzygy.

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