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CASE STUDY: John Lewis on customer-centric delivery

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John Lewis staff can now advise on stock availability in-store.

For department store John Lewis, delivery and collection are both parts of the all-important customer experience. In its latest financial results, it set out the ways it plans to build on that experience, through improvements including two-hour delivery slots, self-service click and collect kiosks in Waitrose and enabling customers to see both more detailed product information and branch stock availability through the John Lewis app.

“We are confident that our relentless focus on the customer and differentiating our brand from our competitors will set us up for success in the second half, where the majority of our sales and profits are delivered,” It said in its statement for the six months to 29 July 2017.

That builds on a delivery promise that includes free standard delivery for orders over £50, next-day and named-day delivery, click and collect from its stores and pick-up from third-party stores through the Collect+ network . Standard delivery for smaller items takes up to five days, Monday to Friday and costs £3.50 for orders under £50. These orders are delivered via a courier. Larger items are delivered by a John Lewis van or come directly from a supplier and take from three working days, arriving within half-day delivery slots, six days a week. Premium delivery services include next-day delivery and delivery within two-hour or four-hour slots.

Click-and-collect services are free from a John Lewis or Waitrose for orders worth £30 or less, or £2 under that threshold. Orders placed by 8pm are available to collect from 2pm the following day. Returns can be made to John Lewis shops or branches of Waitrose, within 35 days, for an immediate refund.

John Lewis this year put stock information into the hands of its staff in-store, introducing hand-held mobile devices with a Partner app that better equips them to answer customer enquiries. Speaking as this was announced in March, Craig Inglis, John Lewis’ customer director, said, “During the trial in our Cambridge store, customer feedback was overwhelmingly positive. It consistently speeded-up response times to customer queries as partners didn’t need to leave the customer to find answers or complete a purchase. This is just the beginning.”

More than half of John Lewis online orders are picked up via click and collect, and it now plans to introduce auto check-in technology to Waitrose stores to improve the experience for its shoppers. In 2017, according to the John Lewis Retail Report 2017, 53% of online customer orders used click and collect. That’s up from 40% in 2013.

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