London Drugs adds high-tech touch

London Drugs staff armed with iPads to add online customer service.

People shopping at London Drugs stores across B.C. have probably noticed something different – staff carrying iPads.

The tablets are being distributed to the company’s 74 stores in an effort to assist customers with real-time information and the ability to easily investigate third-party reviews and price comparisons on products.

“At London Drugs, we know we have the right prices and highly educated staff in our stores and so this new ability to see first-hand information at the purchase decision further affirms this superior service commitment to our customers,” said Wynne Powell, London Drugs president and CEO.

“Providing access to open information allows the customer and our staff to engage in a fully knowledgeable discussion about a product with the aid of online research at their fingertips.”

Customers will have the opportunity to research and display price comparisons of competitors, scan QR codes for quick product specifications, access third-party sites to compare multiple products and generally use the tablets to gain additional perspective on products they are looking for.

London Drugs staff will also have the benefit of using the new iPads to engage with customers through the company’s extensive social media channels, including Urban Lifestyle, Health, Beauty and Nerd blogs, and more than 50 stores on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

“The opportunities are endless,” said Powell. “We look forward to our staff utilizing this information and sales tool with new ways we’ve never seen before.

“We expect the iPads will be utilized primarily in London Drugs computers and electronics departments in the beginning, but there is every reason for customers to also be able to compare kitchen appliances such as coffee makers, as well as books and book reviews, what’s hot in cosmetics, new fragrances and more.”

Customers will also have the ability to review products on the spot by viewing ratings and reviews on www.londondrugs.com.

Last December, London Drugs launched a new Photolab website that allows customers to access and print images from Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Picasa and Instagram. The initiative has resulted in increased sales and new customers.

“We are investing heavily in new technologies in our stores and completely revamping our E-commerce store,” said Powell. “The social media integration on our photolab site, London Drugs’ successful social media campaigns and BazaarVoice ratings and reviews are just the beginning.”

London Drugs has had free Wi-Fi in all of its stores since April 2011. The deployment of iPads to all London Drugs stores was expected to be completed by early June.