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The business of online retail pivots on two crucial offerings – convenience and personalization. In the light of the COVID-19 crisis, these features have become essential to user experience.

Clicks Holdings Pvt Ltd, South Africa’s largest pharmaceutical retailer, has around 1,000 stores in South Africa and a strong digital retail presence as well. TCS has been supporting Clicks’ online and mobile platforms for the last three years and is responsible for their performance, upkeep and enhancement.

Managing the Spurt in Volumes  

In the backdrop of the global contagion, Clicks had to make certain that only relevant products (specific to pharmacy and daily essential needs), as stipulated by the South African government, were made available for purchase on its online platforms and looked to TCS’ support in ensuring this. With citizens being confined to their homes during the lockdown, online usage saw a sharp increase, matching up to Black Friday order volumes just prior to the lockdown being announced and continuing into it. The retailer has a total of 8.4 million active Clicks Club-Card loyalty members, a bulk of whom are patrons of its physical stores. Given lockdown restrictions, many of these consumers moved to Clicks online to make their purchases.

To ensure that the Clicks user has a smooth experience amid this growing online usage, TCS set up an emergency monitoring and rapid response SWAT team to keep a constant eye on all critical metrics and integration touch points. The primary objective was to ensure that both platforms --web and mobile -- met the industry-leading response-time benchmark set by Clicks to give the user a glitch-free experience. The need of the hour was to be able to adapt quickly to the change in scenario in order that online services to the consumer remain unhindered.

Convenience in Crisis

In addition to all of this, TCS has had to make sure its own employees maintain connectivity and collaboration even as they worked remotely to provide their mission-critical support to Clicks. This was done by TCS implementing its own comprehensive work-from-home module, Secure Borderless Workspaces™ (SBWS™), to ensure secured access to work environment and to maintain confidentiality. Acknowledging the power of the Clicks-TCS partnership, Inge Appelgryn, Application Portfolio Manager, Customer and Digital, Clicks, said, “Working with TCS has strengthened our digital team and enabled us to adapt to our customers’ changing needs in this time of crisis. TCS is a strategic partner who are integrated into our business and IT teams and allows for a pool of resources and knowledge to broaden our reach and capabilities.”

While lockdown restrictions have pronounced inconvenience the world over, TCS and Clicks have tried to ensure that access to medicines is one less headache.