Foyles Book Company - Mobile App by the White October Web Agency

The challenge

Foyles, on London’s Charing Cross Road, has always been a booklovers dream. You could spend months browsing through the 200,000 plus titles on the store’s shelves. But what if you’re looking for something specific? Needle in a haystack, right… and not all of us have the time to look.

Foyles realise that. And that’s why, for the reopening of their flagship store, their CEO asked us to develop something that would extend the book shopping experience to the customer’s smartphone. They wanted to make the in-store shopping experience more seamless. What’s more, they were wondering how to pick up all those customers that aren’t likely to ask for help. But they didn’t want to detract from the pleasure of book browsing or undermine staff knowledge and personal recommendation.

The solution

We developed the first ever in-store digital search facility with mapping: a 'bricks and mortar' book search. And we made it dead simple – no apps to download and no passwords required.

Customers automatically connect to Foyles' free in-store wi-fi on a smartphone. A Foyles 'app-style' browser pops up, where the customer is able to type in a keyword (like title, or author). The real-time search results not only tell the customer whether a book is in the store but will point them right to it – by way of a simple, Google-style map which has the route plotted on it.

But it’s not ALL about the customer

Deloitte’s New Digital Divide Report links increasing in-store customer spend and loyalty to a company’s investment in digital services. So, not only does the development of such software offer a better shopping experience for Foyles’ customers, we’ve developed it with increased sales opportunity in mind.

Foyles can do things like embellish images into the map, to enable them to promote new titles, for example. And while this app has been developed specifically for Foyles, the potential for the use of such technology in other types of retail environments is huge.

Foyles Book Company - Mobile App by the White October Web Agency
Foyles Book Company - Mobile App by the White October Web Agency

Our clients include

Oxford Analytica
Open Data Institute
Oxford University
Oxford University Press