John Lewis is still the leading retailer when it comes to perfecting a long-term omni-channel approach, it has been revealed in light of the recent Black Friday and post Christmas frenzy.
This is the view of veteran retail expert and CEO of Powa Technologies, Dan Wagner, who also believes that for those who have begun 2015 poorly, may be in for an even more difficult 12 months to follow.
“Early January has been a retail bloodbath in recent years, and the next few days will reveal who has been caught napping in the monumental shift in consumer behaviour,” he says. “With record sales on Black Friday and a high volume of online orders right through Christmas Day itself, seasonal sales have become a marathon rather than a dash. It’s apparent that an alarming amount are still relying on heavy discounts to lure shoppers in-store rather than preparing for the long haul.
“It’s also astonishing how many retailers and delivery firms failed to account for this in their delivery strategies and jeopardized their ability to meet the crucial pre-Christmas deadlines as a result.
“Record sales are meaningless if fulfilment promises are broken. The writing was on the wall and they should have anticipated dealing with higher volumes over a longer period.
“As ever, John Lewis has proven itself to be at the forefront of digital strategy, and the rest of the high street would do well to take notes. The fact that Managing Director, Andy Street is planning new stores despite an incredible 19 percent jump in online sales demonstrates that a strong omni-channel approach is key to success today, as does click-and-collect overtaking home deliveries.
“Shoppers still enjoy the traditional browsing experience, but they have now taken control of their journey and demand the ability to complete and receive purchases on their own terms.
“Those retailers who have ignored this sweeping change over the last year are in for a very gloomy start to 2015.”