John Lewis report reveals a ‘new age of retailing’

John Lewis has dubbed 2015 as the year of the ‘master shopper’ in its third annual ‘How we Shop, Live and Look’ retail report, which launched last Friday (October 16).

The report, which is a comprehensive review of Britain’s shopping habits this year, gives details of a ‘new age of retailing’ which the’ ultra-flexible, ultra-confident Master Shopper’ controls. These Shoppers moves seamlessly between their phones, tablets or PCs, stores or call centres to zero in on their purchases. John Lewis revealed that the proportion of traffic to from mobiles has increased to 60%, and mobile revenue has grown 68%, in the last 12 months. Two-thirds of its customers use both physical shops and online channels and the number who bought from both channels increased by 9%.

The department store group said this evidence proves that ‘shoppers now combine channels to achieve their optimum shopping journey. It’s a new and dynamic form of shopping that mixes research methods, advice and shopping channels. Master Shoppers choose how to buy, what time of day or night to buy, and how often they visit shops and websites.’

John Lewis managing director Andy Street added:”2015 will become known as the year that 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.”

The multiple retailer said that a trip to the shops remains a key part of the journey for the Master Shopper, particularly when it comes to touching, tasting and trying before they buy. While shops still serve a ‘need it, buy it’ purpose, they are increasingly linked to leisure time because ‘an element of pleasure, inspiration and surprise has returned to the art of shopping’.

Social shopping has also seen a marked increase this year, John Lewis said. Customers are using social channels for inspiration on what to buy and engaging with their friends and the John Lewis website to research and gather information, which is fuelling significant growth in the retailer’s social platforms. Since last year, John Lewis’ Instagram channel has grown by 338%, with Pinterest and Twitter also growing by 68% each. However, Facebook still remains the most popular, with almost one million followers to date.

Andy Street commented: “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’”.

The John Lewis Retail Report 2015 also provides insights into why and what we bought in the last 12 months. Highlights that helped to shape the way we shopped include Black Friday, which saw the highest volume of sales in shops and online, and the General Election, which led to sales of big ticket items dipping in the run-up as customers held off on significant purchases until they were certain of the results.

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