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Case Studies: John Lewis: getting to know you

John Lewis  is following its customers as they use social media to engage with retailers. In its 2015 retail report, How We Shop, Live And Look, the department store said the previous 12 months had seen a tipping point in womenswear. While customers’ style choices had previously been inspired by the catwalks, and by what celebrities, models and actors were wearing, last year saw the growing influence of images shared via Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.

“The plethora of social media inspiration meant customers acted as their own stylists, making confident choices about the looks that worked best for them,” said the report. “We saw our mobile womenswear sales increase by 86% on last year, evidence of a more impulsive ‘want it now’ approach fuelled by the instantaneous nature of social media.”

In the report, John Lewis managing director Andy Street said social media was key to how the retailer now served customers. “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,” he noted. “Shopping today is less about ‘I need it now’ and more about ‘I need it flexibly, when I want’.”

InternetRetailing research, which found that 12,011 shoppers engaged with John Lewis via its Facebook page, supports the validity of this approach. That’s 93% ahead of the average

among Top500 retailers. InternetRetailing

analysis found John Lewis has an average of 360 Likes-per-post on Facebook – 74.3% more than the average for Top500 retailers. It also scored 140% higher value for customer check-in on its Facebook page than the average.

Facebook is John Lewis’ most established and well-used social channel, with a following that leaves its Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest accounts far behind, though these latter accounts are growing more quickly, according to the John Lewis 2015 retail report.

The skill involved in John Lewis’ use of social media to engage with customers was exemplified when the retailer launched its annual Christmas ad in November 2015. A teaser campaign had already been running for a week before the Man on the Moon ad went live on the John Lewis website and on YouTube on 6 November 2015, with social sharing links to Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. In the first hour that the ad was live, it was mentioned 16,396 times under the #onthemoon and #manonthemoon hashtags, according to analysis from PR agency Hotwire. During the first 24 hours, it was mentioned more than 96,000 times.

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