As it prepares to launch a new online store, London Drugs is leveraging an e-commerce solution that will enable the western Canada chain to grow across multiple digital channels.

London Drugs, Demandware, multichannel commerice, online store, e-commerce, digital channels, web store, Clint Mahlman, drug chain, drug store, software-as-a-service, mobile phones, tablets, social media, Jamus Driscoll, e-commerce site, LiveAreaLabs, Photolab, iPads

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London Drugs gears up for multichannel commerce

June 25th, 2012

BURLINGTON, Mass. – As it prepares to launch a new online store, London Drugs is leveraging an e-commerce solution that will enable the western Canada chain to grow across multiple digital channels.

Burlington, Mass.-based Demandware, a software-as-a-service e-commerce provider, said Monday that London Drugs has adopted its cloud-based Demandware Commerce solution to extend the retailer's shopping experience across web, mobile and in-store channels.

Angling to become a "go-to" website for Canadian consumers, London Drugs sought a to replace its legacy software platform with a new one that would allow customers to easily search and buy products across a range of digital touch points, including web, mobile phones and tablets — while also driving traffic to its 75 stores, most of which are in British Columbia and Alberta.

Such capability is especially important to London Drugs. While the chain offers the full range of typical drug store merchandise, and pharmacy is at the center of its operations, most of its stores have a footprint enabling them to offer a mix of products that's among the most diverse in the industry — particularly a large electronics department, which has been a key shopper destination. Computers and computer supplies, software, televisions and home entertainment equipment, mobile phones and devices, household appliances, and a wide selection of cameras and photo equipment are found in almost every London Drugs outlet.

Plans call for the first phase of work on London Drugs' redesigned online store to launch in October, in time for the holiday season.

"London Drugs is dedicated to providing a superior shopping experience to customers every time they shop with us, whether it's in one of our 75 physical stores or online," Clint Mahlman, chief operating officer and senior vice president at the Richmond, British Columbia-based drug chain, said in a statement. "We look forward to welcoming our customers to the new Demandware-powered London Drugs revitalized online store, where they will experience improved navigation and functionality, and the ability to easily find and purchase an exciting array of products across multiple digital channels."

With Demandware Commerce in place, London Drugs will have a central commerce platform for developing and managing multiple branded sites across channels — including web, mobile and social media — so the retailer can deliver an online user experience and customer service that's on par with its in-store experience and service, according to Demandware.

The technology provider also noted that all users — including merchandisers, marketers, developers and designers, as well as operations, customer service and fulfillment teams — will be able to leverage powerful commerce applications, and new features will be made available continually via automatic global releases over the scalable, secure cloud infrastructure.

"The London Drugs brand is synonymous with the impeccable customer service they provide throughout its stores," stated Jamus Driscoll, senior vice president of marketing for Demandware. "With Demandware, it can now extend that same outstanding brand experience to its customers across all digital commerce channels, no matter where and when they shop. We're delighted to have been chosen by London Drugs and look forward to working with them on their multichannel initiatives."

For its revamped web store, London Drugs also has enlisted digital marketing provider LiveAreaLabs to develop and deploy the e-commerce site, built on the Demandware Commerce platform, along with a branding strategy. The engagement includes customer research, digital brand strategy, custom e-commerce website design, content strategy and development, search engine optimization, technical consulting and development, analytics and design optimization, and ongoing technical support.

London Drugs is no stranger to using the latest technology to engage with and better serve its customers. The chain has had free Wi-Fi in all of its stores since April 2011, and in December the retailer launched a new Photolab website that enables customers to access and print images from such social media destinations as Facebook, Flickr, Google+, Picasa and Instagram. The chain said the Photolab site has since seen increased sales and new customers.

And earlier this month London Drugs was slated to finish rolling out Apple iPads to all of its stores to provide customers with product information on the spot to aid their buying decisions. With store associates toting iPads, customers will be able to research and view price comparisons of competitors, scan QR codes for quick product specifications and access third-party sites to compare several products — giving them added perspective on products they are seeking, the retailer said.

In addition, store staff can use the iPads to engage with customers via London Drugs' breadth of social media channels, which include its Urban Lifestyle, Health, Beauty and Nerd blogs plus the more than 50 stores on Twitter feeds, Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Pinterest.