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Brief Published: 3 Jan 2014

John Lewis’ Digital Update

John Lewis Oxford Street on Google StreetView

UK department store John Lewis is hoping to boost its digital credentials by introducing transactional iPads, mobile phone charging stations (in selected stores), and a full mapping of its Oxford Street store on Google Maps.

In the Cheadle, Brent Cross and Peter Jones stores (located in Manchester, Northern England and London respectively), iPads will allow staff to process transactions anywhere on the shop floor, easing Christmas queues. The tablets connect wirelessly to each store’s till system – allowing transactions to be entered into the brand’s main inventory system immediately. While receipts can be emailed, a mobile printer also allows staff to print proof-of-purchase documents for customers that prefer a hard copy. For more on this topic, including making sales on the move, see New Transactions Technology.

The retailer has also partnered with UK-based virtual tour specialists Ideal Insight to create a virtual tour that’s accessible through Google’s online mapping tool, Street View. It is the first department store to fully map a shop using the function, and will allow shoppers to navigate the store from home, virtually browsing the aisles.

While customers get the benefits of remote access, John Lewis will undoubtedly be the beneficiaries of valuable consumer data – see Data Tracking & Response Monitoring for more.

In a further bid to boost the brand’s digital clout, John Lewis is planting mobile phone charging stations in the Peter Jones and Watford (North London) stores. The ‘ChargeBoxes’ provide a free 30 minutes of charging time for mobile devices (phones and tablets); customers are able to lock their devices securely at the station while they shop. A full rollout of these stations is planned for summer 2014.

For similar examples, see Omni-Channel Retailing and Digitising the Department Store