John Lewis MD says even the 2013 Multichannel Retailer of the Year has further to go to improve the customer experience

Published on 15 April 2013 by in Latest News

multichannel retail customer experience john lewis John Lewis MD says even the 2013 Multichannel Retailer of the Year has further to go to improve the customer experience

Despite winning the coveted Multichannel Retailer of the Year title at last month’s Retail Week awards, John Lewis MD Andy Street admits even the retail leader hasn’t perfected the multichannel customer experience.

“I don’t think anybody has really got the entire multichannel,” relates Street, honestly stating, “We haven’t to be frank, but we are probably in a good position in terms of having brought lots of it together.”

Street’s modesty belies results to be proud of in 2012; click and collect sales doubled, mobile commerce up 200 per cent and 9.1 per cent overall sales growth in a struggling retail sector. Clearly these outcomes were no accident, and have in fact come about as a result of a commitment to drive innovation for long term growth, using data insights to create smoother multichannel customer experiences.

“We know that about 60 per cent of our customers buy both online and in shops so the approach is to make it absolutely seamless for them to move from one to the other,” confirms Street. “They’re not even supposed to know or see or realise which channel they’re using because it’s one overall customer offer.”

A step beyond this universal level, John Lewis also recognises the advantages of taking a singular view of each customer through its loyalty scheme. As Street explains, “As part of ‘My John Lewis’, you’ll be recognised as an individual, we know your whole purchase history and will make suggestions as to what you might like to buy given your likes.”

This integrated, personalised approach has been combined with a number of initiatives pushing the boundaries within the industry to create more convenient service options. An iPhone app to scan and order out of stock items, virtual mirrors and a 24-hour scannable shop window linking to product pages are just some of the pioneering services the retailer has trialled.

While not all of these experiments will make it into John Lewis’ store-wide strategy, the brand’s overall results speak for themselves: the focus on a seamless customer experience has clearly paid off.

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