St James Quarter partners with Edinburgh tech businesses to assist those with additional needs

Appointedd and WelcoMe have united to ensure disabled visitors can access, visit and enjoy all that the St James Quarter has to offer

PEOPLE with additional needs can alert the St James Quarter with their personal requirements ahead of their visit thanks to two Edinburgh businesses combining their technologies. 

Online booking and scheduling platform Appointedd and accessibility tool WelcoMe have united to ensure disabled visitors can access, visit, and enjoy all that the St James Quarter has to offer, from dining, to shopping, to bowling, and the latest movie releases.

WelcoMe works by creating an inclusive and accessible customer experience for disabled people by bridging the gap between them and the Guest Services team at the St James Quarter. Sharing their accessibility requirements via WelcoMe enables users to inform the St James Quarter guest services team of their needs before they arrive at a business or attraction. 

Businesses can extend an invitation to their visitors to share their access needs using weblinks or widgets. WelcoMe users can use the web app where they can view all WelcoMe supported venues. By tapping on the St James Quarter icon, information about the shopping and entertainment destination appears alongside the Appointedd booking tool. Users then book from a variety of options to make their visit as accessible as possible. For example, they can book a “meet and greet” so that someone from the St James Quarter greets them upon arrival and supports them while they enjoy all that the quarter has to offer.

When a user plans a visit to go shopping at the St James Quarter, their booking details contain not only their name and date/time of their booking, but their accessibility needs as well. Guest Services at the St James Quarter are then better able to understand the best ways to approach, help and prepare for their visit so that the user has a positive experience right from the start.

The St James Quarter is a destination like no other – bringing together brands from global to local, and convenience to luxury. It is a retail led, lifestyle district that fully integrates into and enhances Edinburgh’s City Centre providing an inspiring, attractive, and vibrant destination for locals and visitors to live, shop, eat, sleep, and play and thanks to a range of design and service features provides a usable and welcoming space for all. 

Alongside the WelcoMe/Appointedd service, the St James Quarter has been designed to optimise accessibility with level access and lots of mobility lifts and also offers both a Guest Mobility Service and a hands free shopping service called Drop It.

Satisfied customers have taken to social media to express their delight at how the WelcoMe, Appointedd and the St James Quarter integration has already benefited them.

Nick Peel, Managing Director at St James Quarter, said: “We understand that visiting new places can cause stress and anxiety, which is why we have partnered with WelcomMe and Appointedd to provide this unique service and allow people to let us know their intention to visit in advance and express any support they may need.”

“Delivering the very best service in a way which is specific to our visitors’ needs is at the heart of what we do, so we’re delighted to be able to offer the use of this innovative app and ensure everyone has an enjoyable and memorable experience.” 

WelcoMe Founder & CEO, Gavin Neate, commented: “Occasionally, truly sector changing services come from the openness to mix an innovative mindset, with innovative processes and aspirational service providers. ” 

“This is exactly what we have achieved through the integration of WelcoMe and Appointedd in the development and delivery of a truly revolutionary service for our sector leading partners, St James Quarter.”

“By combining the ability to book and the ability to raise awareness of disability we have changed the face of customer service for both disabled visitors to St James Quarter and its service team members and provided the rest of the world with an example of what’s possible when society combines remarkable tech within remarkable forward thinking partners.”

Leah Hutcheon, Founder and CEO Appointedd, said: “Our whole raison d’etre at Appointedd focusses on accessibility; from making it super easy to book appointments to enhancing the customer experience thus we are particularly excited to be working alongside two fellow Edinburgh businesses to make the fabulous St James Quarter accessible for all.”

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