Holland & Barrett announces in-store tech pilot partnership

Holland & Barrett has announced it will pilot a raft of in-store digital technology solutions to enhance its specialised wellbeing product offering for customers.

Under the partnership, Holland & Barrett staff in selected stores will have access to Mercaux’s Sales Assist and Omnichannel solutions through tablet devices, enabling the retailer to quickly offer in-store shoppers products from its eCommerce platform.

The technology, which has both online and offline capability, also provides staff with a tool to help address customer needs based on a series of questions and answers. Additionally, if a product is not in stock at the store, either a suitable alternative can be suggested or the order can be fulfilled through another store or online.

For stores where customers are required to queue outside due to Covid-19 restrictions, shoppers can use the app to browse or search for specific products, and create a basket which is transferred to in-store colleagues to complete the orders. Once the customer enters the store, they then pay and pick up the pre-packed bag, saving them time and reducing the risk of infection.

Darsh Chand, head of change and continuous improvement at Holland & Barrett commented: “We initially launched with Mercaux in our new concept store in Chelmsford, Essex, which acts as a live hub to test innovative customer concepts. Both customer and colleague feedback on these new solutions has been positive, and serves us well in our mission to make wellness accessible for all. We are now working on the roll-out of the technology to nine additional stores in September we look forward to seeing the results in a wider selection of stores.”

Olga Kotsur, co-founder & CEO, Mercaux, added: “It’s imperative that retailers act now to meet the heightened expectations of customers returning to stores. Holland & Barrett has shown, through the launch of their Chelmsford concept store, the power that digitisation can bring to exceeding these expectations and prevent potential lost sales.”

Last month, Essential Retail undertook a virtual tour of Holland & Barrett’s newly-reopened concept store in Chelmsford.