In response to changing shopping habits and their expanding online business, Waitrose have introduced hotel-style welcome desks where consumers can collect online orders, order new groceries, have products gift-wrapped, hire glasses and much more.
It’s part of the brand’s drive to offer customers seamless access to a wide range of on and offline services with Bouncepad technology at its heart. It’s the ultimate joined up omnichannel approach.
Mark Price, Waitrose Managing Director, explained the changing role of Waitrose, an upmarket British chain of supermarkets: “Our stores are increasingly used as a destination to collect online orders”. In fact, recent surveys suggest that an incredible 34% of John Lewis purchases are picked up at Waitrose stores. The supermarket realised they were missing a trick. Instead of a place for refunds or complaints, the humble service desk could be much more: the physical point where online services meet good old-fashioned face-to-face service. And so the hotel-style Welcome Desk was born. Mark Price said:
“Waitrose has a long established reputation for offering outstanding service and we know it’s one of the reasons our customers love shopping with us.”
Tablets were key to taking Waitrose’s renowned customer service to the digital age. As part of the new multi-channel brand experience, the Bouncepad Desks provide convenient and independent access to cross-channel services. Arranged in a comfortable bar stool area designed by Styles&Wood, customers can grab a free coffee while they order groceries, make a bulk wine order, use the dry cleaning service, flower wrapping or sign up for the reward card scheme.
There is no rush to make orders; instead customers are invited to take their time. Andy Shaw, operations director at Styles&Wood, said:
“These projects demonstrate how Waitrose is taking a creative approach to adapting its in-store offering to provide greater convenience for shoppers.”
The Bouncepad Desk model features a Rotate base to make screen sharing between customer and adviser a smooth process, if a customer wants to ask for extra assistance. Shoppers can also use Bouncepads in the beverages section where the tablet displays offer further information on beer, wines and spirits. The multi-million pound programme was initially aimed at 100 Waitrose stores, and is due to be rolled out across the UK in 2014.