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Discussing Inclusive Shopping with Boots.com E-Commerce Director, Paula Bobbett

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As boots.com launch Recite Me accessibility and language support across their online store, it is the perfect opportunity to sit down with the Director of e-commerce at Boots.com Paula Bobbett, to discuss the direction and commitment Boots are taking on D&I and how they support their diverse range of customers and website visitors.

What is your D&I mission for this year and beyond?

Our business vision is for DE&I to be at the centre of everything we do. So that means applying a DE&I lens to all our initiatives and activity eg launching new a product, a marketing initiative, how we engage with our suppliers and customers or the culture we create for our own team members.

What are you doing across your digital landscape to be inclusive?

We know that shopping online or in-store isn’t as easy as it should be for everyone. Hence why we’ve launched Recite Me to make it easier for people to navigate our site in the way that works best for them. We have also worked on a Boots best practice guide for our suppliers to ensure they also have this front of mind.

Can you share some D&I best practice examples Boots have implemented to support customers?

Boots is the Purple Tuesday Health and Beauty Sector Sponsor and as such customer inclusion is high on our priority list. We are taking a holistic approach to supporting disabled customers and patients both from a physical accessibility perspective and an inclusive customer service perspective.

We regularly update our customer service training and last year we included some foundational learning on unconscious bias and how, if unchecked, our assumptions can sometimes affect customer interactions and ultimately the service we provide.

We also introduced the hidden disabilities sunflower scheme in all of our stores and provided our team members with associated training to help them understand more about some of the challenges our customers, patients and colleagues with hidden disabilities might be living with, as well as making some practical suggestions about how to meet their needs even better.

We have team members who are trained to provide help and support to customer with cancer. Our Boots Macmillan Information Pharmacists are pharmacists who’ve had extra training, developed by Macmillan and Boots, to support people affected by cancer. Their extra training helps them to understand the needs of customers / patients with cancer and provide information about medication as well as just being someone just to talk to.

We also have Boots No7 Macmillan Beauty Advisors in our stores who understand the impact side effects of cancer treatment can have on how customers with cancer feel about themselves. They provide support and free beauty advice to help customers feel empowered and equipped to overcome some of the visible side effects of cancer treatment if they want to.

Concluding message you would like people to take away

We hope that Boots is for everyone, no matter who our customers are or the way they chose to shop. By partnering with Recite Me we are aiming to support our ambition to make Boots accessible to all.

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