John Lewis creates a seamless experience across bricks and clicks
Size: 80,000+ employees
Broadened delivery and collection options
Cut operating costs
Reduced delivery failures
Substantial growth in click and collect
Delivery Manager helps us offer a wider range of delivery options which reflect how our customers want to receive their orders all over the world
Since its first opening in Oxford Street in 1864, John Lewis has grown to include 34 shops and 332 Waitrose stores throughout the UK as well as a strong online offering. As one of the country’s largest omnichannel retailers, it covers three core businesses: grocery retailing, department stores and financial service protection products.
The company’s goal is to seamlessly link online shopping with the traditional shop experience, while still providing exceptional services to customers. “When customers shop across channels with us they spend more, not just in total but actually on the individual channels,” explains Charlie Mayfield, chairman of John Lewis
Partnership. “It’s all about the closeness of the relationship that you can establish as a brand with your customer; what technology does is provide a richer and more varied channel offering to establish and develop that relationship.”
In 2008 John Lewis pioneered its first click and collect service through Metapack, enabling shoppers to choose from over 200,000 products on johnlewis.com for free delivery to local John Lewis or Waitrose shops. John Lewis uses its own fleet to make deliveries, so Metapack integrated the John Lewis fleet into the mix of delivery carriers managed by the system.
When the customer places an order online, it is processed and the items are picked from the warehouse. Metapack then automatically determines whether the order should go via John Lewis’ own fleet or an alternative third-party carrier. As the fleet only track loads as a whole, Metapack’s specially designed label and barcoding system ensures parcels can be identified and subsequently scanned into the store to confirm arrival.
Once the parcel is scanned at the store, email and SMS messages are triggered automatically to inform the customer that the parcel is available for collection. If the parcel is not picked up after two days, a reminder email is sent. After five days, Metapack generates an automatic report of all uncollected parcels so these can be returned to the warehouse.
Metapack’s solutions for John Lewis don’t stop at click and collect, but extend to improving processes around home deliveries, too. While John Lewis had been delivering many larger products to customers’ homes via its physical stores, it made more sense to deliver these products directly from the central distribution warehouses. The company wanted to use two carriers and to print labels from one printer in each of the five warehouses. At the same time, it needed to be able to track progress of these deliveries and make this information available both in- store and via the customer care team.
To address these needs, John Lewis adopted Metapack Manager. Implementation took just four weeks. The company now uses Metapack’s configurable file import system to upload one order file daily. Carrier selection is confirmed and labels are printed in bulk or individually. Stores are able to access orders via the web by customer name, postcode and order number. Metapack informs the customer whether an order is waiting for despatch or in transit, and provides a wide range of status updates as the delivery is made.
With these practical procedures in place, John Lewis can be assured its service is running smoothly and that customers are enjoying seamless cross-channel shopping. In fact, customer reaction has been extremely positive – they say that the convenience of local store pickup has greatly improved the shopping experience, especially given the seven- day late opening hours of many shops. Thanks to consolidated shop deliveries, John Lewis has seen a drop in delivery failures and an improvement in operating costs. Meanwhile, there has been a marked increase in click and collect sales – it is now the brand’s fastest growing delivery channel, representing over 40% of online delivery activity.
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