Four Ways John Lewis is Winning at Mobile Marketing

Back in 2013, we launched our annual mobile commerce report, where John Lewis was one of the top performing UK retailers for mobile marketing experience.

In 2014 we returned to our report, updated its criteria based on the latest consumer expectations, and John Lewis was crowned the winner. The report, which benchmarked the UK’s top 20 retail brands, singled out John Lewis for the quality of its mobile marketing strategies, mobile websites and individual smartphone/tablet apps.

Now as we moved from 2015 into 2016, we have once again updated and launched our annual mobile benchmark. Only this time, rather than comparing UK companies, we examined the mobile strategies of one hundred top retailers from across the US, UK, Australia and much of Europe.

After benchmarking 100 sites, downloading 400 apps, and examining 8000 scoring criteria, who do you think came out on top of the world stage? You guessed it… John Lewis.

Top 100 mobile retailer table

So what is it that has made John Lewis the consistent king of of mobile marketing? More importantly, what can your business do to match that success?

Here are our four top tips to beat the benchmark:

Keep it simple

In every one of Episerver’s benchmark reports, John Lewis has been scored highly for its simplistic yet intuitive layout and design – both across its mobile websites and apps. As consumer expectations have risen and attention spans have shrunk, the need for sleek easy to understand design elements has become more important than ever.

Within the UK, 64% of consumers claim that they will abandon a site if it proves difficult to navigate, while 47% say that poor mobile design reduces the likelihood that they will make a purchase. John Lewis addresses these concerns through its simple navigation menu, intuitive on-site search engine and a generally sleek and aesthetically-pleasing design.

Embrace the omni-channel approach

While many of the retailers benchmarked offer apps across multiple mobile platforms, few were as all-encompassing in their approach as John Lewis. Not only does the retailer provide mobile and tablet applications across both iOS and Android, it also combines these with standalone functions from its mobile site.

Better still, John Lewis is one of the few retailers to incorporate offline shopping within its mobile retail approach, providing a handy “Click and Collect” service across all of mobile devices. This is particularly vital when targeting the UK market, with 44% of consumers feeling an in-store collection service is an important part of any mobile app.

Stay ahead of the game

Despite Episerver updating its benchmark criteria every year to reflect the latest trends, John Lewis has consistently achieved a score of 70% or above. This isn’t a lucky accident, but is rather the result of a continuous stream of updates to both John Lewis’ web presence and mobile apps.

A brief look at the App Store version history reveals that John Lewis’ iPhone app has received significant updates, at least once a month, for the last six months. By keeping up-to-date with the latest technology and consumer trends, John Lewis has been able to maintain a consistent five-star rating in the Apple App Store.


                     Monthly updates on mobile apps                              Omnichannel delivery options

Don’t be afraid to get personal

Technology is at a point now where a personalised experience can be offered to customers on an individual level, and that is a powerful proposition. As it stands, 1 in 5 UK consumers now expect personalisation to be part and parcel of their mobile shopping experience. This is a shift in thinking that John Lewis has been happy to embrace, offering personalised experiences via both cookies and an in-app login system. Both John Lewis’ iPhone and Android applications are also location-enabled, taking note of the user’s current position in order to recommend the nearest stores.

By sticking to these four key traits, John Lewis has been able to develop a truly first-rate mobile shopping experience, with a strong focus on user experience – claiming the number one spot in both Episerver’s national and international benchmark reports. Until other retailers learn to embrace these technologies, their benchmark scores, mobile marketing efforts, and customer satisfaction levels, will all continue to suffer.
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