We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
RSS FeedChange Management

John Lewis offers Wi-Fi for in-store price comparison


M-commerce iPhone app in the works

Article comments

Britain’s biggest department store John Lewis is to offer customers free in-store Wi-Fi so they can compare its ticket prices with rivals, the employee-owned partnership has announced.

The company will install the access in all its stores by Christmas with partner BT OpenZone, which will require customers to hand over their email address to access the service.

Far from being a simple convenience, the company has decided to embrace what it sees as a new age of m-commerce, price matching competitors under its famous ‘never knowingly undersold’ catchphrase on condition that they are also bricks and mortar competitors.

John Lewis reckons that 60 percent of its customers research products online before making purchases, “accessing product information and viewing ratings and reviews to influence their purchase.” In the near future there will be a free iPhone app.

“We recognise that mobile phones have become a crucial part of people's shopping habits,” said Simon Russell of John Lewis. “The roll-out of Wi-Fi 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.”

John Lewis, which owns Waitrose, will become the first UK retail enterprise to offer free Wi-Fi, and will be seen as part of an inevitable shift in high-street shopping. Online retail holds huge dangers for high-street companies, many of which are struggling to compete with Internet-based firms.

Some have opted to sell online in parallel to their bricks and mortar presence but that has tended to undermine sales; if they offer lower prices people never visit the shop but if they don’t customers go elsewhere.

John Lewis’s hope is that it can mix the two worlds up, offering high levels of customer service – still a major worry for some when buying certain items from faceless online vendors – with sometimes slightly higher prices.

Orthodoxy says they will fail but there is plenty of evidence that many consumers will pay more if they feel they are insuring themselves against a retailer's indifference should the product go wrong.

Share:

Comments

John Lewis offers Wi-Fi for in-store price comparison
Change Management

How M&A teams can create value by challenging the CEO

How M&A teams can create value by challenging the CEO

A typical “hold” period of nine to 18 months can generate increased sale valuemore ..


European IPO markets reaches pre-recession levels

At least 15 IPOs with over €250m proceeds are planned before the end of the summer, PwC saysmore ..

BG Group relocates trading HQ to Singapore

Oil and gas company says it wants to get closer to “high growth” LNG marketsmore ..

Chicago Sun-Times first major US paper to accept bitcoins

Backed by Coinbase, the move is part of a digital-first strategymore ..

Will the new tax breaks help Britain’s VFX and film industries?

Alex Hope, MD of Double Negative, explains what the autumn statement really means for UK VFXmore ..

How to improve your annual report

Regulators recognise the value of storytellingmore ..

Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:


PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.



In Depth
Do you have what it takes to become a non-executive?

Do you have what it takes to become a non-executive?

The benefits of board service for CFOs more ..

In Depth
How M&A teams can create value by challenging the CEO

How M&A teams can create value by challenging the CEO

A typical “hold” period of nine to 18 months can generate increased sale value more ..

Advertisement

* *