What we can learn from John Lewis recent sales boost

An article earlier in the month over at Marketing Week provided some interesting points on John Lewis and its growth in sales during January 2012-3.

With stats like the below, they must be doing something right in what is currently a price war of a market…

  • Overall 9.2 per cent rise in revenue
  • Overall profit increased by 15 per cent
  • Sales at department stores open for more than a year increased 10.5 per cent, while profit soared 37.2 per cent

You can take a look at the full article by clicking here, but below we’ve highlighted a few things we can learn from what John Lewis point out as reasons for their success.

John Lewis: “relentless focus on understanding, and delivering for, the customer”.

What we can learn:

  • The customer comes first!
  • Don’t take them for granted. Look after them. Check if they think there’s a way you can improve what you offer.
  • They are one of your biggest assets (assuming of course they are happy customers!)…word of mouth plays a huge part in spreading the word, whether it be via social media, down the pub, or in a business meeting.

John Lewis: Stepped up innovation in new products.

What we can learn:
  • Never stand still in what it is you offer.
  • Always consider extensions of things you already offer, either up-sells at the time of purchase or after sale additions.
  • And never stop thinking about completely new offerings that complement your existing suite.
  • But remember to stay true to what it is you’re all about…avoid the pitfall of confusing your customer. If you excel in something, don’t undermine that by introducing a sub-standard addition to your product / service suite.

John Lewis: A “quiet revolution underway” across its supply chain, IT and support functions.

What we can learn:

  • Never stop thinking about how you do what it is you do.
  • Can you improve processes?
  • Are there other companies or individuals that could bring that something extra to your operations?

John Lewis: Performance across the group was also boosted by its focus on multichannel shopping.

What we can learn:

  • Consider how your customers currently purchase from you. Can that be expanded?
  • Can you ask your customers if they’d like alternative methods or choices? Would you be willing to adapt and invest to meet their needs?
  • Do some of your products / services lend themselves to lower cost methods of purchase?

The most important lesson, of course, is we can always learn from others regardless of their size, market or stature.