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Mobile browsing moves to pole position for John Lewis shoppers

Smartphones have become the most popular method of browsing online for John Lewis shoppers.

In its annual Retail Report the chain revealed that smart phones accounted for 42% of visits, up 17%. The number of orders placed rose by 35% and accounted for 21% of online sales, up from 16%.

Tablets accounted for 22% of visits, down 12%, the number of orders placed fell 6% and accounted for 22% of sales, down from 24%.

Computers accounted for 30% of visits, down 4%, the number of orders placed fell by 2% and accounted for 51% of sales, down from 54%.

The chain said consumers were using larger devices for more considered purchases, but the gap was narrowing.

‘Customers are also being much more specific in regard to what they are looking for on our sites, using less generic terms and more filters to narrow down exactly what they are after. The average number of words in a search term has gone up by 7% over the last year to 3.2 words. And one in three customers will refine their search by using a filter, up by 7% in the last year, with mobile seeing the biggest increase of filter usage, up 10% on last year,’ it said.

It also plans to allow shoppers to check if products are in stock through its app.

‘Our app is also proving a popular way to shop with visits up 45% from last year and the number of orders placed up 56%. And while the app is a great tool for online shopping, we saw that increasingly it’s also being used as an in-store shopping companion.

‘About 12% of all visits to the app involve using a feature that’s designed to be used in a shop, for example Kitchen Drawer, which creates a digital copy of all paper receipts. The app also has a bar code scanner which customers can use to look up further information about products in shops, like alternative colours and sizes or ratings and reviews.

‘80% of app users shop in our shops, which is why we’re also rolling out a feature that will allow customers to check stock in our stores. This is currently available for 20% of products but the plan is to increase this to all suitable products soon.

The app has a scannable, digital version of the myJohnLewis card which is useful for the 82% of app users who are also myJohnLewis members, saving them from needing to carry the card with them. myJohnLewis customers also have access to their reward vouchers in the app, and are 25% more likely to redeem their free tea and cake than customers who use paper. Browsing time on the app has also increased by 20 seconds per visit while the average order placed on the app has gone up by £7.’