Because people already have trust in its high street brand, they are likely to consult its online health advice. It will inevitably bring consumers back into stores to make use of the services it offers, and they will turn to the retailer to buy the remedies they need.
It also links into the additional in-store services the retailer offers. With BootsWebMD, Boots is creating a circle of trust with consumers and patients that will only strengthen its position as both a retailer and a health provider.
It’s interesting that when Boots questioned GPs about online health resources, while 85% agreed they were useful for patients, only 27% felt there was something adequate in existence.
This is despite the fact that the NHS already has an online service that you would expect NHS GPs to have faith in.
Boots is obviously much more than a retail brand. It’s bridging the gap between a retail business and a health service, offering “detailed, credible and authoritative” health information online and in-store services ranging from pharmacy, STD screening and vaccination services, as well as consultation areas that border on a GP service.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the retailer eventually offers full GP surgeries in its stores under the Boots brand.