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‘Master shoppers’ are taking control of the purchasing journey: John Lewis

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A new breed of ‘master shoppers’ is taking full control of the omnichannel environment in order to buy exactly what they want, a new report from John Lewis suggests today.

The third annual John Lewis Retail Report analyses where, how and what its customers bought over the last year. It finds they are developing approaches to buying that combine crosschannel research, browsing, purchase and collection.

Two-thirds of the retailer’s customers shopped online and in-store in its 2015 research, and 9% more people bought across both channels than in 2014. Some 60% of traffic to was from mobile, with m-commerce revenues up by 68% in the last year.

John Lewis managing director Andy Street said: “2015 will become known as the year the master shopper came of age. Shoppers are now more enabled and more in control than ever. It’s an exciting time in retail history with John Lewis well-positioned to lead the revolution in providing the services the master shopper needs.”

But while m-commerce is growing, John Lewis, ranked Elite in InternetRetailing’s IRUK500 research, says shops, such as its new Birmingham flagship (pictured) remain essential, with customers paying a visit in order to touch and feel – or taste. It’s emerging that how shoppers varies with the product. Those buying menswear interact about four times, including two shop visits. But those buying white goods, furniture or computers visit around seven or eight times. Nearly 20% of customers buying a computer have more than 10 interactions during a buying journey.

The report also detects a “marked increase” in social shopping, as consumers look for inspiration, talk to friends and research the John Lewis website via its social platforms. Since last year, John Lewis’ Instagram channel has grown by 338%, with Pinterest and Twitter also growing by 68% each. Facebook remains the most popular, with almost one million followers to date.

Street adds: “Our shops are changing to become more inspirational and multi-purpose than ever before. We’re helping facilitate our customers’ ability to shop anytime, and anywhere, and to make their user journey the most flexible it has ever been. Shopping today is less about ‘I need it now’ and more about ‘I need it flexibly, when I want’.”

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