Following their best Christmas to date, the very on-form John Lewis was recently voted Britain’s best shop by Verdict and its 6,000 shoppers. Let’s be honest, what’s not to like? The stores are upmarket but unpretentious. They’ve a quality product offering and peerless customer service.
John Lewis is different from normal retailers. They’re known as a bell-wether for high street trading, not because they mimic other retailers but because they report sales figures weekly as opposed to the normal quarterly results from the likes of Tesco and M&S. They are incredibly transparent; a throwback to being a ‘partnership’, owned by its 69,000 employees partners. This transparency and an old fashioned willingness to ‘serve’ clearly run through this business.
Although, that said, the latest ForeSee Christmas E-Retail Satisfaction Index tells a slightly different story of their online offering. In this brief but excellent study of the top 40 retailers (according to traffic), Amazon trump John Lewis as clear overall winners.
JL did come out on top when looking at the multichannel category, ahead of Boots and HMV. Most surprisingly of the pure plays (Internet only retailers) ASOS rank seventh, behind QVC and M&M Direct.
Regardless, both polls show JL is getting it very right where its customers are concerned. If I were Andrea O’Donnell, JL’s Commercial Director, I’d be very pleased but a little puzzled as to how a cold pure play like Amazon could best me when customers can’t even speak to an individual, let alone be impressed by one. Email updates obviously go a long way.