John Lewis looks at multichannel retail and the ‘master shopper’

A new ‘master shopper’ has emerged to take advantage of multichannel retail in order to buy want they want when they want it.

This is from the third annual John Lewis Retail Report, which looks at trends in retail, and the impact of multichannel.

The ‘master shopper’ has learned to combine channels and devices in order to create their own optimal shopping experience.

As the report states:

With all these options creating a more flexible journey, shopping today is less about “I need it now” and more about “I need it how, when and where I want.

In this customer’s eyes, stores are still important, which is just as well since John Lewis has more than 40 of them. The stores fulfil a function which, according to the report, is increasingly linked to leisure time.

John Lewis cites increased use of services such as Beauty and spa treatments in its stores as evidence of this.

More broadly, the growing use of mobile and multichannel services like click and collect have created a new landscape for retail in which customers switch between devices and channels – online and offline – with ease.


John Lewis: multichannel stats


  • The proportion of traffic to the John Lewis website from mobiles increased to 60% in the last twelve months and mobile revenue grew by 68%.
  • The retailer predicts that we’re yet to reach peak usage.

John lewis mobile commerce stats

  • Two thirds of John Lewis customers use both physical shops and online channels and the number who bought from both channels increased by 9% over the past 12 months.
  • Almost 20% of customers buying a computer have more than ten interactions during a buying journey.
  • An average of three of those interactions involve online research on John Lewis or on other websites.

John lewis multichannel retail stats


  • Facebook is the most popular social channel for John Lewis, though it uses different channels for different reasons.

John Lewis social stats


What does this mean for retail? 

Well, the lesson for multichannel retailers like John Lewis is to realise the number of channels and influences that affect the customer’s purchase and make this process as easy as possible.

Innovations which make multichannel research and purchase easier, such as these examples from House of Fraser, are to be embraced.

More importantly, with the number of channels used by these ‘master shoppers, it becomes more important for retailers to have a presence on as many as possible.

The John Lewis report contains this visualisation of the number of channels and other factors which influence the ‘master shopper’.

Click image for a larger version, or head to the full report.

Master shopper mind

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