Holland & Barrett: improving customer experience in omnichannel retail with the location of wellness stores
"Holland & Barrett is more than just a retailer. We want to be the go-to brand for all wellness products and services with journeys across digital and retail. To help us achieve this, we’ve modernised the way customers find information about our stores and services and offer a customer experience for click-and-collect that makes it simple for our customers to use."
- Push-up on click-and-collect orders that now account for 20% of orders
- Increase in footfall traffic from Holland & Barrett’s website to its stores
Holland & Barret is the UK's Leading Health & Wellbeing Store, offering a wide range of vitamins, minerals, health supplements, specialist foods and natural beauty products. The retailer operates over 1,600 stores in 16 countries.
This brand has a strong heritage, with 150 years of experience in the industry. It has also embraced the digital age, with significant investments in technology” over the last years to transform its online and mobile propositions. Holland & Barret is now a full-fledged omnichannel retailer, focused on the needs of Health & Wellness shoppers.
Location tools contribute to this transformation, with improved customer experience for click-and-collect scenarios. Holland & Barrett also uses its online map to show what new services are available in stores.
"Holland & Barrett is more than just a retailer. We want to be the go-to brand for all wellness products and services with journeys across digital and retail. To achieve this, we’ve modernised the way customers find information about our stores and services and offer a customer experience for click-and-collect that makes it simple for our customers to use." Dave Clarke, Head of Engineering at Holland & Barrett.
More convenience and services for Health & Wellness shoppers
Holland & Barrett launched its rebuilt Ecommerce website 18 months ago. It integrates a new click-and-collect journey that simplifies the choice of store through Woosmap’s Store search API. Click-and-collect existed previously as a delivery service from Holland & Barrett’s distribution centre. Customers can now check the availability of a product in-store and select the most convenient pickup option.
The availability of new wellness services can influence customers in their choice of stores. It is therefore important that each store’s features and attributes are clearly displayed on a digital map. For instance, the availability of specific products - like cold drinks or chilled food - and services like blood tests or 3D Body scanners.
Fitness enthusiasts and people interested in self-care use those 3D Body scanners. Because they measure the breakdown of protein, fat, minerals and water in the body to help create plans to achieve their goals. And those customers can then find the products they need in Holland & Barrett’s stores or online.
"Holland & Barrett is a very well-established brand in the UK. However, we still need to raise awareness about all the new services available in stores that answer the needs of health and wellness shoppers. With our digital map, we can show what products and services are available and drive more online customers to our retail stores." Dave Clarke.
The best mix of the retail and digital world
Over its 150-year history, Holland & Barrett has built an impressive retail presence with its 1,600 stores worldwide. This history also rhymes with legacy, with layers of technology stacks and proprietary applications built by the Holland & Barrett IT teams.
That’s why three years ago, Holland & Barrett launched the rebuilding of its web platform to offer a better customer experience, both on PCs and Mobiles. A small but key part of this project was to modernise the way customers find information about the stores, with a store finder on a map.
"Our goal is to bring customers together with a great omnichannel experience. We are very proud of our high street presence and we want to offer the best mix of the retail and digital worlds for Health & Wellness." Dave Clarke.
Easy integration through APIs
With Woosmap’s Localities API with Autocomplete, customers get suggestions for text-based geographic searches. It can provide on-the-fly suggestions such as city names, postal codes, suburb names or addresses of shops. It is therefore very simple for customers to find products and services they need in their area.
Information about stores, product availability and services is updated by Holland & Barrett’s data team. It's then integrated into the website through Woosmap’s APIs.
"We were positively surprised that Woosmap’s API was as simple to integrate into our system. Their team was available to help us but we could be autonomous in our integration and could count on their support. Woosmap was also selected for its international reach since they already have geographic data for all the countries where we have physical stores."
In three months, by the end of 2021, Holland & Barrett implemented its new digital platform in the UK. And by 2022 it extended its project to the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium.
"The real complexity of the project was to integrate legacy systems and proprietary technologies, with a new digital stack to provide a seamless omnichannel experience for our customers. Now we can use feeds from legacy platforms to update our digital map with information about stores and states of stocks." Dave Clarke.
Healthy metrics for retail and Ecommerce
With its omnichannel strategy, supported by its digital map, Holland & Barrett generated healthy KPIs.
Like an increase in conversion with its new Ecommerce website. Holland & Barrett also manages to drive more footfall traffic from its website to its stores. An approach where services can also contribute to boosting sales of health & wellness products.
The improved customer journey with Woosmap also drove substantial push-up on click-and-collect. It now accounts for 20% of the orders.
"Using the Woosmap APIs enables us to simplify the choice of store in the click-and-collect journey. We can also display the state of stocks for every store, with information about product availability at the basket level and product page level. Offering this information drives customer satisfaction and better conversion." Dave Clarke.