Boots preps first mobile apps

Boots is preparing to launch its first mobile apps as part of its soon to launch Christmas marketing campaign.

Boots apps to launch in time for Christmas

The app, due to launch ahead of Christmas, is expected to be connected to its now famous three-for-two Christmas gift promotion and its Advantage loyalty scheme. A raft of mobile initiatives are expected to follow in coming months.

Ruth Spencer, Boots director of insight, loyalty and multichannel, would not be drawn on the exact features of the app but told Marketing Week the pressure on consumers, women in particular, to find the “perfect gift” for Christmas remains as strong as ever despite economic pressure, which suggests that the app may offer a gift selector tool to match people with gifts.

It’s not known if the apps will be free or paid for.

The health and beauty retailer has been slow to adopt mobile apps and while Spencer admits it has been “cautious” in its approach to mobile apps, says it has instead focussed on making sure that its digital presence is optimised for mobile and making it easier to collect and redeem points online. Boots Opticians has previously launched an eye health app.

Boots has overhauled its IT systems and the platform that Advantage programme runs on to make sure that the foundations for its multichannel strategy are in place.

Speaking to Marketing Week to mark 15 years of Advantage Card, Spencer, said: “I remember being around websites after the .com bubble burst and it’s stuck with me since then that you shouldn’t build a website unless someone will come to it more than three times. The same is true for apps. You can waste a lot of money on doing things that never get into someones repertoire and have no utility.

“We’ve been rigorous and will not build apps unless they are genuinely going to be useful in the long-term. We’ve been much more considered so that we can produce something that customers will find value in. It’s more important before getting seduced by sexy apps that you get the basics of digital right, otherwise you risk doing all the shiny bits without having the foundations right.”

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