John Lewis & Partners says that during the pandemic, it has seen a fundamental shift in how its customers shop. Before the crisis, online sales had accounted for around 40% of sales and stores contributed to around £6 of every £10 spent online. By the time it announced its half-year results in September, ecommerce had grown to more than 60% of sales, with stores contributing only £3 of every £10 online.
The online channel is more vital than ever and the effort spent on the site reflects that. Merchandising is bold, with product descriptions and imagery giving an effective view into product suitability. Customers can filter products via multiple options, including delivery options as well as ratings. Items are shareable with friends and customers can see how many others have viewed items or added them to their baskets in the last 24 hours, adding a sense of urgency to purchases while also revealing on-trend products.
Customer experience has always been vital for John Lewis & Partners but it has traditionally relied on its stores to deliver its truly differentiated service. Since the pandemic, however, it’s been forced to move many of these previously in-store services online. These include personal and home styling as well as beauty and nursery advice, and helping customers buy better online through bookable video call appointments that bring store staff to them.