Boots partners with Deliveroo, but will other retailers take note, asks Software AG?

With news that Boots has partnered up with Deliveroo to deliver various health and beauty products under a new pilot programme, Oliver Guy, senior director, industry solutions at Software AG, said the partnership signals the next step in Boots’ journey to deliver convenience to communities. Guy also believes other retailers could well be watching to see what happens, like M&S, which has already invested heavily in premises that have the potential to be hubs for Deliveroo-type delivery.

Guy said: “Customer service expectations don’t vary much by industry. Good service is good service. Food delivery has already expanded into grocery delivery, so it’s natural to see it expand into other smaller products where customers have an immediate need. 

“The new partnership between Boots and Deliveroo is another example of a ‘retail ecosystem’ whereby different retailers and third-party service providers collaborate in order to bring the customer what they need.  

“Boots is a great example of an organisation with a very broad footprint of stores close to centres of the population – they have one or more branches in every city, town and large village across the UK. A few years ago, they launched the ability to pick-up high-level cosmetics and other products not normally carried in the smaller community stores. Dealing with the ‘last mile’ via a partner like Deliveroo could well be the next step in the journey – with medicines, childcare products and other categories often being urgent requirements that customers are prepared to pay for convenience with.

“Some other retail organisations with similar wide footprints could well be watching to see what happens – take for example M&S, which has invested heavily in premises on fuel station forecourts. These have the potential to be hubs for Deliveroo-type delivery – giving a much wider geographic and customer footprint than with normal stores alone.

“Ecosystems need consistent and streamlined connectivity between organisations to work. A clear and defined API management and B2B data strategy is essential along with the ability to scale rapidly and connect into different systems internally and externally – otherwise the initiatives will not deliver against the customer promise.”