Halfords, the UK’s leading retailer for leisure and car products, teamed up with Red Ant to trial a world-first connected pick from store app using smartwatches

6 weeks from concept to deployment
Rapid iteration with creative integration for light-touch IT
World first innovation using smartwatches in retail
1% improvement in collection rate
2% increase in NPS
Foundation and learnings for the store of the future
Re-use of recommendation and eCommerce data

Halfords and Red Ant deliver world-first smartwatch-enabled pick from store app

Working with Red Ant’s digital store platform, Halfords piloted the process in its Leamington Spa store, with in-store tablets for customer use as well as phones and smartwatches for staff who are responsible for picking items ready for customer collection.

What Halfords wanted to achieve

Halfords has a reputation for giving its customers the best possible, most innovative shopping experiences, and wanted to trial the latest technology for a better click and collect service in its Leamington Spa branch.

What we delivered

Red Ant’s solution offers a fully connected pick from store app, based on tablets, phones, fixed displays and smartwatches - the first of its kind globally:

  • Staff are automatically notified of incoming customers and their orders on the screens and watches
  • Staff can use their phone or smartwatch to generate a pick list, allowing them to put new orders together while they walk around the store
  • Customers check in on a touchscreen kiosk at the front of the store and confirm their order, are shown any relevant upsell products and are told where to go to collect their order
  • Customers can also use the kiosk to ask for help, which pages a staff member on their phone or smartwatch
  • When a customer asks for assistance with their click-and-collect order, from Halfords or a third party such as eBay, the sales assistant receives a personalised alert on their smartwatch

Business logic determines who is the ‘best’ assistant:

  • Which colleague served them during their last visit
  • Whether they need a product specialist
  • If they are a high value customer, whether a more senior sales assistant is appropriate
  • If they are in a hurry, the closest assistant to the customer in the store for the fastest response time

The sales assistant uses the information to provide a seamless service:

  • By finding the item and delivering it to the customer quickly
  • By sharing the product spec from their mobile device onto a digital display so that the sales assistant can see additional information and upsell as appropriate
  • By processing all of the customer’s information in real time so that they will receive a more personalised service next time they visit
  • By using a paperless system, eliminating the need for four sheets of paper for each order  

At the end of the customer’s interaction with the sales assistant, business rules calculate and display different metrics via smartwatch:

  • Progress to daily or weekly sales target
  • Comparison to historical performance for the same period
  • To-do tasks or process reminders

This type of ‘glanceable’ information is also useful to store managers as it offers:

  • High value sale alerts
  • Footfall change calculations
  • VIP customer alerts
  • Target completions

Integration with the Halfords consumer app will allow staff to automatically prepare customer orders before they arrive, using geolocation in the store or shopping centre car park.


Our pick from store app comes with a built-in real-time dashboard, so all results are delivered automatically and immediately.

  • Average response time for assistance: 5 seconds
  • 2% increase in NPS
  • Pilot was delivered in 6 weeks, confirming Halfords as an innovative retailer and giving them a new way of thinking about innovation, as well as helping them to experiment with new technology
  • Use of the latest mobile devices makes staff feel valued and part of the process of innovation
  • Retail Systems Awards - in-store innovation of the year 2016
  • Retail Week Tech and Ecomm Awards – finalists, best use of technology in-store and innovation of the year categories
  • 1% improvement in collection rate
  • Reduced paperwork from 4 sheets per pick from store to none
  • Use of the latest mobile devices makes staff feel valued and part of the process of innovation
  • Built the case for innovation without large investment/business disruption
  • Retail Week awards – finalists, the Blue Yonder customer technology innovation of the year category

“We’re always looking for new ways to enhance the shopping experience for our customers, whether it is in store or online. Our Store innovation programme has been set up to allow us to trial innovative ideas and test them in a real-world environment, so that we can see in a very practical way how they could benefit both customers and colleagues. The click-and-collect pilot in our Leamington Spa store is a world first, and an innovative step towards providing a fully-connected retail experience for our customers.”

Katrina Jamieson, Business Transformation Director at Halfords