Boots - E-commerce Design Systems

Designing a beautiful retail experience for Britain's biggest health and wellbeing brand across multiple platforms and territories.


Use customer insights and key metrics to define a consistent and scalable e-commerce approach.


Express the vision of ‘Beautiful basics’ and the core principle of ‘less is more’ in a simple but personal retail experience for Boots customers.

The Challenge

Boots is the UK’s largest pharmacy chain, operating over 2,500 stores ranging from local pharmacies to large health and beauty stores. Started over 150 years ago, the iconic brand became Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2014 expanding its network further than ever before. With a wealth of services and a huge product catalogue, Boots has faced major challenges to reinvent its retail experience for the digital age. Our scope was to deliver the best online retail pharmacy for the UK and international markets on one single platform.

The Solution

Together with IBM, Cognizant, Aurora and Coremedia, we delivered a truly world-beating e-commerce experience with improvements across the board. Applying an agile test-and-learn approach enabled us to build up an adaptable, intuitive and accessible library of UI patterns, managed through an online style guide living beyond our engagement. This resource continues to inform Boots’ UX&D strategy. Through interrogating the overall Boots roadmap, we were able to provide value for money for Boots by identifying that re-use was one of the vital principles for Boots in the e-store design system. This meant increasing rigour in the initial stages to account for not only other platforms, but also other territories and brands. The resulting design system is now core to the work of the internal design team and all appointed agencies.

We deployed an exceptional team into Boots Nottingham HQ and integrated as part of the Boots CX team. By sharing our agency knowledge we have enabled them to run their internal teams on future related work with a user centered process and methodology.

The Work

The Results

  • The Boots UK e-store was delivered as an MVP in 2016 and launched publicly in January 2017.
  • Design system extended to Boots Pharmacy, Boots international in Norway and Boots-owned brand Liz Earle.
  • Responsive framework, modular UI library and toolkits applied across mobile, tablet, desktop and B2B business services.
  • Improved search and filtering.
  • A streamlined online responsive checkout (whilst also offering a guest checkout).
  • Overhaul of free repeat prescription service.
  • Order and Collect proposition.
  • Significant uplift in online mobile sales and pharmacy prescription sign ups.


Boots stores across the UK serviced by Order and Collect proposition


digital platforms using the design system (so far)


agency partners working in collaboration across the programme

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