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John Lewis introduces real-time booking system to strengthen omnichannel services

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John Lewis has introduced an online booking system to manage a range of services that it offers in store. The move is part of the department store’s omnichannel vision to connect online and offline services across the business.

Shoppers can now book 12 services, from personal shoppers to home design consultancy, through the department store group’s website, using the BookingBug system.

Use has taken off faster than expected, with the booking system running 30 to 50% ahead of its targets in both interest and bookings.

When John Lewis first decided to introduce an appointment booking service, it tested interest in the by installing an online form that customers could use to book an appointment for a call.

“We immediately saw significant volumes of enquiries come in, validating our theory that this would be popular with our customers and enhance their omnichannel experience,” said Richard Ambler, head of product services at John Lewis.

When it came to choosing a supplier, BookingBug stood out and within weeks of installation, John Lewis found the project was as much as 50% ahead of the original growth target.

In-store staff manage automatic private diaries of appointments using the BookingBug interface. The real-time distributed booking and reservation service removes previous administration work while also generating data that gives insights for strategic planning. New functions now being trialled include dashboards and charts on capacity, use, outcomes and lead times.

“Services at their best can mean a brand creates a deeper relationship with a customer,” said Ambler. “By definition they are non-transactional. There’s investment of time and effort on both sides.”

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