John Lewis is turning to Zoom to provide virtual personal shopping appointments as it seeks new ways to make its stores work for the increasingly online customer base.
The service is designed to allow shoppers who make a personal shopping appointment to receive online the product help and advice they would typically receive from a John Lewis Partner in store.
When booking, customers will be asked a few questions about what they are shopping for so the personal shopper can prepare. During the appointment – conducted via a 30 minute video call on Zoom – customers will be shown around the areas of the shop which they want to visit.
The personal shopper will show the customer products they think suit what they are looking for and answer questions about them. The personal shopper will be able to make recommendations on a wide range of products from gifts to bedding, cookware and toys; with their expert colleagues joining to advise on more complex products such as tablets and phones.
The service which is free of charge and available to customers across the UK will initially be tested by personal shoppers based in two shops – Peter Jones in London and Southampton.
This pilot follows the successful launch during lockdown of three other John Lewis virtual services – home interiors, personal styling advice, and advice for expectant parents. Over 3,500 appointments have been booked since mid-April. Virtual masterclasses on skincare, makeup and wine and food pairing have also proved very popular.
Steven Hand, Head of Customer Experience at John Lewis, ranked Elite in RXUK Top500 research, explains; “What our partners offer in our shops is impartial expertise and advice from our Partners and this pilot means we can offer that again to customers all over the UK who cannot get to our shops. The lockdown has changed customer habits but customer service remains as important as ever. ”