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Pets at Home creates an in-store digital experience on iPad app

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Leading UK pet store Pets at Home has launched a new iPad app across all its 434 stores to make it easier for customers to find products.

Working with IBM and its MobileFirst for iOS portfolio, the Sales Assit app offers a unique omni-channel experience for pet owners, including a large network of stores, brand websites, innovative and exclusive products, and pet services through vet practices and grooming salons.

With the Pets at Home website capturing some of the highest levels of web traffic in the pet care retail market, IBM is working with the brand to further evolve the digital experience and bring it to life in stores across the country.

Previously, customers who were unable to secure the right products and services for their pets had to either go online or visit another store, however, the introduction of Sales Assist into Pets at Home stores means that store colleagues now have a fast way to access a wider range of insights and products to be able to convert these enquiries into sales on the spot.

“At Pets at Home, we’re investing in innovative new technology to reinvent the retail experience for our customers. We want our consumers to be able to learn about and order the right products across every channel, and mobility is at the forefront of this transformation,” says Chris Holyland, Ecommerce Director at Pets at Home.

“By customizing Sales Assist, in collaboration with IBM and Apple, we are providing our consumers with access to an even bigger range of goods regardless of location. The unique tool allows our colleagues to confidently show product information, ratings and reviews from the shop floor, opening up opportunities to foster higher brand engagement and ultimately provide our consumers with the experience they expect.”

Pets at home originally rolled out Pet Pad – an in-store iPad system – designed to remove friction from the customer’s experience and transform the retail operations of the organisation back in March. This takes that initial foray into in store digital in to a new dimension.

Sales Assist is one of over 100 apps in the IBM MobileFirst for iOS portfolio that are changing the nature of work for retailers and global companies across industries by putting real-time data in the hands of employees. Using iPad, more than 3,000 Pets at Home store colleagues will have quick access to the retailer’s product databases while assisting customers to provide a more compelling in-store experience.

For example, if a customer is interested in a product for their pet which forms part of a wider range of goods and services, the Pets at Home store colleague can use the app to showcase this extended range. Bringing this digital interface into the interaction provides consumers with the convenience of choosing one of 440 stores to pick up their chosen purchases the very next day, or alternatively selecting delivery to their workplace or home address. The app is allowing colleagues across store locations to showcase, educate and meet the needs of a dynamic range of customers and make the shopping experience even faster and easier to complete.

“Today, how retailers engage with customers — whether online, in-store or a hybrid environment – is being disrupted driving a critical need for brands to create digital experiences that meet the evolving needs of the any-channel, always-on consumer compelling digital experiences,” says Gareth Mackown, Europe Mobile and Apple Leader, IBM.

“Mobile is leading the way for improving customer engagement. By empowering Pets at Home’s colleagues with insight, product information and transactional capabilities through their Apple devices, Pets at Home is creating a stronger brand affinity with its consumers, blurring the boundaries between digital and physical consumption and working to ensure that each customer leaves the store with all of their pet care needs satisfied.”

Pets at Home is using IBM Cloud to link Sales Assist with the company’s applications and data, enabling a high-performance, scalable and flexible hybrid cloud environment.

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