IBM rolls out mobile sales assistant in UK chain

IBM has rolled out the Sales Assist app at a U.K. health and beauty retail chain. Produced by IBM MobileFirst on iOS, the technology allows staff to answer customer questions about products, ranging from reviews and rating to location in the store.

The mobile program is connected to Boot's online databases to tap into product location and information. Staff can use Sales Assist to check in-store stock or order from a nearby store for collection as soon as the next day, reported Internet Retailing.

The app is now running on 3,700 in-store iPads across Boots' 2,510 brick-and-mortar locations.

The technology allows sales staff to access information about products wherever they are, using a mobile sales assistant.

"At Boots UK we're investing in innovative new technology to further improve the retail experience for our customers, and mobility is at the forefront of this transformation," Robin Phillips, director of omnichannel and development at Boots UK told Internet Retailing. "It will help even our smallest stores feel like a flagship shop, with access to the entire Boots range at their fingertips."

Boots is using IBM's Bluemix cloud platform in order to link Sales Assist with the company's applications and data. runs on IBM WebSphere Commerce with integration from IBM Global Business Services.

In 2015, looking to make the retail experience smoother for customers, IBM released a mobile app powered by Watson and designed to deliver top-trending product suggestions to shoppers, using big data to drive gift choices. The IBM Watson Trend app differs from similar suggestive selling tools by pulling in conversations and information about products from more than 10,000 sources, including social media, e-commerce sites, blogs, product reviews and rankings.

Fore more:
- see this Internet Retailing article