John Lewis boosts stores with digital strategy

John Lewis will offer customers free WiFi in all its stores as part of its ongoing multi-channel strategy to use digital platforms to complement its physical stores.

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Customers will be able to access the internet, including all competitor websites via WiFi enabled devices, after registering with an email address. It will also give faster access to the John Lewis website than 3G services offer.

The move, which John Lewis claims make it the first department store to offer free WiFi, supports the chain’s Never Knowingly Undersold price promise and allows customers to check competitor prices.

John Lewis is appointing “digital champions” in all its stores who will be tasked with helping customers to shop online as part if its involvement with the Government backed campaign Race Online designed to encourage everyone to use the internet.

It will also launch an iPhone app, which will include products, reviews and video content, in the coming months.

The department store chain says that more than 60% of its customers research products online before making a purchase, adding that it wants customers to be able to continue to access product information, ratings and reviews online when they are in its stores.

John Lewis head of multi-channel, Simon Russell says: “We recognise that mobile phones have become a crucial part of people’s shopping habits. The roll-out of WiFi in our shops is a big step forward in helping customers to have all of the information they need at their fingertips to make an informed purchase.”

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