With convenience now at the top of consumers’ shopping lists, browsing and shopping on the go has become the norm and British retailer John Lewis has invested significantly in developing its omnichannel strategy over the last few years.
As one of the UK’s largest department stores, John Lewis operates 43 shops and stocks more than 350,000 separate lines across fashion, home and technology. Alongside this Johnlewis.com currently stocks over 280,000 products. The pioneering retailer is well known for its customer service, but lesser known for over 12 services available to customers at no charge, which have never been actively promoted.
A variety of relatively unknown in-store and at home advice services are on offer, such as personal shoppers, but customers were only able to book appointments either in store or via the telephone.
It became clear that updating the technology would let John Lewis communicate services to a growing online customer base and support the ongoing omnichannel strategy. This was validated by a simple proof of concept – a basic online form where customers could book an appointment for someone to call them.
In an attempt to make added services as popular as its product line, John Lewis enlisted the help of real-time booking and reservation system BookingBug, which has made the user experience more seamless, allowing customers to book one or more free services online. Those services include:
•Gift list scanning
•Home design service
•Curtains and blinds size estimation service
Since being deployed, online bookings are growing up to 50% faster than anticipated, before any marketing
“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.”
Bookingbug deployed a new scheduling platform for the 12+ in store and at home services which, even before marketing, has increased interest and bookings, and created the foundations to roll out other omnichannel services and propositions.
John Lewis hoped to raise awareness of the services it offered and drive in-store traffic through an online offering; in a matter of weeks, the department store chain has noticed the project tracking 30-50% ahead of the original growth target, exceeding the expectations generated by the original pilot.
“Services at their best can mean a brand creates a deeper relationship with a customer. By definition, they are non-transactional. There’s investment of time and effort on both sides. We now have an online booking system which is being used by customers and enhancing their omnichannel experience – the next challenge is giving it the right level of visibility,” comments Richard Ambler, Head of Product Services at John Lewis.