In today’s integrated marketing environment there are so many tie-ups between on and offline channels. There’s case studies on sites like EConsultancy and Figaro of brands that have created seamless customer journeys that bridge the digital v real world divide.
One integrated tactic that’s sometimes overlooked is including call to actions on receipts. I’ve found many supermarkets have simple yet effective customer feedback incentives with the chance to win £1,000 by completing a short online survey.
We’ve all seen brands using promoted Facebook and Twitter posts to encourage app downloads, but recently I encountered my first receipt used to promote an app download.

Having popped into Boots to pick up a few essentials, when it came to the check-out I used my advantage card and along with the standard receipt I received a promotional offer which caught my attention.

receipt encouraging user to download app
I could become a point’s millionaire by downloading their Advantage card app.
Which to my surprise I didn’t realise there was an app, so I thought oh brilliant I’ll be able to ditch the card, have all my points in one app and it’ll be great. So I got home and went into the app store to check out the Boots Advantage card app and this is where their well thought out strategy to drive more app downloads falls flat at the first digital hurdle – App Reviews.

The influence of app reviews

Here’s a collection of them to illustrate my annoyance on planning to download an app that was filled with so much promise!


With a dismal average rating of 2 stars it damaged my perception of the brand. I instantly thought do you know what I’m not going to bother. It really put me off, and I’d love to see the campaign stats for the app conversion rate, as based on such poor reviews I can’t imagine many people have, unless it’s simply to enter the competition. (In which case the campaign might have delivered that goal, but I wonder if they’ll look at the stats a few weeks after to see if there’s been any uptake).
We keep hearing about the influence of peer review and user comment from platforms like Feefo etc, and this is a prime example of how User generated reviews impact on conversion.

Approach to app rollout

This to me is a case in point of potential departmental silos where there’s little collaboration across interlinked projects. Surely it would have taken just some simple user testing in the field to see that the App doesn’t do what’s expected of it, especially when tied up to a POS receipt promotion and indeed promoted via Twitter. One of the negative comments also cites poor customer support in store as again my guess would be a full roll-out across employees of the app and how it works might have been amiss.
It also raises the bigger issue of app development and getting the proposition right from the start. As one reviewer rightly states not having the app on App store would be better than having a crap one!
The catalogue of bad comments from the last 6 months certainly outweighs the limited positive reviews and again makes me wonder if anyone at Boots is looking into these as the last developer update was in February!

Give it a go

So I decided to download the app and see what all the fuss is about. The odd thing is that you have to download offers to your physical card! This doesn’t make sense to me, as surely in an age of wanting to get rid of plastic cards it seems counter intuitive. And without downloading an offer moments before going into the store I’m not sure how quickly they can be redeemed. Though one interesting feature which seems to be completely overlooked is the photo prints which allows you to access Facebook and Instagram pictures and collect your pictures from participating photo stores (yet to test this out). Though I can see a lot more potential in this tool if you get to collect points as well.
This whole experience has highlighted the importance of connected thinking across in-house teams and agencies in order to truly reap the advantages multi-channel marketing.
I’d love to hear your experiences, as I’m gathering a collection of examples just like this one where chinks in even well laid out marketing plans damages the desired outcome.