December 10, 2023

unic power

health life

Boots health and beauty growth needs e-commerce investment says Edge by Ascential expert

3 min read

Back in August, Walgreens Boots Alliance partnered with app-based food delivery firm Deliveroo in the UK​ for a pilot scheme offering home deliveries of 400+ health and beauty items in select regions. And in September, Boots UK unveiled 30 new beauty halls nationwide as part of a multi-format strategy aimed at providing consumers with greater access to leading beauty brands.

So, what could be learned from these actions? And were such investments the way forward for the UK’s market leader in health and beauty retail and others?

Boots realises it needs to ‘do something’

The Boots tie-up with Deliveroo was “a good move, if not overdue”,​ according to Chris Elliott, head of market insights at Edge by Ascential.

“Boots – the market leader – is predicting it’s going to lose share over the next five years. There are not too many market leaders losing share. They’re obviously looking at similar data and realising they need to do something,”​ Elliott told CosmeticsDesign-Europe.

Partnering with Deliveroo and rolling out dedicated beauty halls were certainly two important moves from the retailer, he said, but more had to be done with e-commerce. “I do think they are overlooking e-commerce and they need to do something about their site.”

Whilst Boots represented about 23% of store-based health and beauty in the UK, Elliott said its e-commerce offering was “barely there”​. “…They’ve got such a small slice of the pie in e-commerce; they need to do something to innovate, change and reverse their fortunes.”

Running a business that was majority store-based, he said, left the retailer in a “very precarious position”,​ he said, particularly when competitors like Superdrug were performing well online.

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