John Lewis Fights Back: Tech Investments Aim to Boost Customer Experience and Sales

11 Jan 2022
5 min read

British retail giant John Lewis is taking a tech-forward approach to combat the challenges posed by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis. By strategically investing in new technologies, John Lewis aims to not only survive the economic downturn but also emerge stronger by enhancing customer experience (CX) and driving sales.

Naomi Simcock, John Lewis's Operations Director, recently unveiled their strategy at Smart Retail Tech Expo 2024. The core of their plan hinges on leveraging data and implementing targeted technological solutions.

Core Plan:

  • Data-Driven Personalisation: Leverage customer experience data analytics tools to gather insights from pre- and post-sales interactions. This allows John Lewis to personalise the shopping journey across all touchpoints, from targeted marketing campaigns to product recommendations on their website and in-store.
  • Optimised Inventory Management for a Seamless Customer Experience: John Lewis is focusing on optimising inventory management for a seamless omnichannel experience. This includes:
  • Detailed Product Information: Inspired by successful retailers like Screwfix, John Lewis is providing detailed product information to reduce returns and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Real-Time Omnichannel Inventory Visibility: They are working to ensure both online and physical stores have access to real-time stock data. This eliminates the frustration of customers finding out-of-stock items after seeing them advertised online.
  • Data-Driven Loyalty Programmes that Boost Sales: John Lewis sees data-driven loyalty programmes as a game-changer. They envision using purchase history to provide targeted recommendations. Imagine new parents being guided through the overwhelming world of baby products, or grandparents receiving suggestions for gifts suited to their grandchildren. This level of personalisation can significantly enhance the customer experience and encourage cross-selling, ultimately boosting sales.
  • Automation with a Human Touch: While automation plays a role in improving efficiency, John Lewis recognises the importance of human interaction. They're implementing stock picking robots in warehouses but emphasise the need for a balanced approach. AI is being used strategically for tasks like sales forecasting and developing virtual manuals for devices, but human customer service remains a priority.
  • Machine Learning for Optimised Resource Allocation: John Lewis is excited about the potential of machine learning to predict customer traffic patterns in stores and call centres. This allows them to better allocate resources and ensure staff are available where they're needed most, leading to shorter waiting times and improved customer satisfaction.

Simcock on the Strategy:

"If you're not productive you won't have a business left," said Simcock, highlighting the importance of technology in navigating economic challenges. "We're also using AI on forecasting at the moment...and to roll-out virtual manuals for devices."

Key Takeaways:

  • Data-Driven Personalisation: Leverage customer data to personalise interactions and improve CX across all channels.
  • Inventory Management Optimisation: Gain real-time inventory visibility and streamline operations for better stock control.
  • Data-Powered Sales & Loyalty: Utilise AI for sales forecasting and data-driven loyalty programmes to encourage cross-selling.
  • Balanced Automation: Embrace automation for efficiency while prioritising human interaction in customer service.
  • Machine Learning for Resource Allocation: Predict customer traffic patterns and optimise resource allocation with machine learning.

How AbsoluteLabs Can Help: John Lewis's strategic use of technology offers a compelling model for retailers seeking success in the current challenging economic climate. AbsoluteLabs can guide you in implementing these strategies to achieve similar results.

Collaborate with AbsoluteLabs to navigate economic complexities and excel in the competitive retail market. Let's adapt John Lewis's innovative technological approach to elevate your customer experience and exceed your sales goals.

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