8th July 1011, Salmon Limited, specialists in delivering commerce solutions for leading brands in retail, insurance and retail finance markets today announce they have developed iPhone and Android apps for Halfords, extending their current mobile and multi-channel proposition. The apps allow customers to shop, scan products and find their nearest store.

Mobile phone shoppers will receive a better online experience with the ability to research, locate and purchase products via the apps. The apps combine both web and app capabilities, providing Halfords with a cost effective solution and customers with a better online experience.

Customers can scan a Halfords barcode using the camera on their smartphone and be taken directly to the product detail page on the Halfords.com mobile website. From there, they can access detailed information about the product, including product ratings and reviews from other customers. The apps can also scan QR (Quick Response) codes used in-store or in other channels and take customers to relevant information on Halfords.com or other web sites.

Using the new apps, customers can also find their nearest Halfords store by searching on town or postcode. The apps use GPS and the customers’ current location, and show a map pin pointing them to the nearest stores. Once found, the store details are displayed, including the option to get directions to a chosen store. Customers can also touch an area on the map to bring up local stores, phone them directly using pre-dials and get directions or opening hours.

Jon Asbury, Halfords Channel Development Manager said: “We aim to give customers an even better online shopping experience through cutting edge technology. The apps are a natural progression from our successful mobile site. Customers will find the apps versatile, functional and easy to navigate.”

Halfords mobile site also implemented by Salmon allows customers to purchase easily from wherever they are on their smartphone and it is now responsible for 15% of total Halfords.com traffic and 5% of orders.

The apps use Halfords’ existing mobile site and are a key addition to their overall multi-channel proposition. The “Shop” feature that is automatically launched when customers scan a code is an embedded view of the existing mobile store front within a separate tab. Each app is optimised to take advantage of native features of iPhone and Android technologies.

Sue Pratt, Account Director at Salmon said. “There are a number of advantages to Halfords’ combining web and app capabilities. The fact that the shopping part of the app comes from the current mobile site means that the Halfords business team can easily add new features without having to roll out new versions of each app. This means that customers don’t have to keep downloading new versions of the apps time and time again. The Halfords business team can also change promotional content easily and use IBM WebSphere Commerce features such as precision marketing, that wouldn’t easily be available in a native app.”

Sue continued, “Halfords are a great example of how retailers should strive to have a “customer interaction platform” in place that will support their business now and in the future. Halfords are now benefitting from being able to reuse user generated content like “Ratings and Reviews” on the mobile optimised site within the app and at the same time take advantage of smartphone technology like location awareness and cameras to support a great cross-channel customer experience.”

Customers can download the apps free of charge from iTunes, Marketplace or Halfords.com

About Halfords
The Group is the UK’s leading retailer of automotive, leisure and cycling products and through Halfords Autocentres is also the UK’s leading independent car servicing and repair operator.

Halfords employs approximately 11,000 staff and sells over 12,000 different product lines with significant ranges in car parts, cycles, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes, outdoor leisure and camping equipment. Halfords own brands include the in-store Bikehut department, for cycles and cycling accessories, Apollo and Carrera cycles and exclusive UK distribution rights of the premium ranged Boardman cycles and accessories. In outdoor leisure, we sell a premium range of camping equipment, branded URBAN Escape. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service called "wefit" for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a “we repair” service for cycles.
Halfords customers shop at 462 stores in the UK and ROI and at Halfords.com for direct home delivery or pick-up at their local store. Halfords Autocentres operates from 227 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at more affordable prices.

About Salmon
Salmon is a highly innovative regional systems integrator whose commitment to on-time, on-budget projects is increasingly embraced by the leading names in retail, insurance and financial services markets. Since 1989, leading brands have been turning to Salmon for its ability to build, integrate and support business-led systems that add measurable competitive value to their day-to-day operations – and to their bottom line. Salmon quickly understand business needs, creates realistic development schedules, and efficiently delivers solutions to plan; based around an ethos that marries a depth and breadth of development skills, with a management process that removes virtually all risk from successful project roll-outs. Customers include Argos, Ann Summers, Boots, Bristol & West, Halfords, ICI Paints and Swiss Re.

Salmon is headquartered in Watford, Hertfordshire and has offices in the US, China and Australia. For more details about Salmon visit http://www.salmon.com

Salmon Contact Details:
Joanna Temple
Marketing and PR Manager
Salmon Limited
64 Clarendon Road
Watford
Herts
WD17 1DA

Tel: +44 (0)1923 320000
Mob: +44 (0)7799 764227
Email: jtemple@salmon.com
Web: http://www.salmon.com

Published on: 9:20AM on 12th July 2011