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John Lewis announces new spending plans to account for popularity of online shopping

13 January 2017 - 11:17 by Sarah Collinson

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This year will see retail giant John Lewis pump even more money into its digital presence as it takes account of the fact that safe shopping online is more popular than ever and showing no signs of slowing down its march towards total dominance of the marketplace, according to Reuters.

It published a statement to announce its upcoming investment plans, while reporting that its profits have been squeezed as a result of the switch from bricks and mortar to e-commerce that customers have catalysed.

While it did not come out with a specific figure, John Lewis will clearly need to pour additional resources into its online efforts, or else face losing customers to its digitally adept rivals.

The retail sector is changing dramatically at the moment, with analysts noting that safe shopping online is continuing to gain traction with consumers across all age groups. This is bad news for the high street, which is why traditional retailers are having to embrace a new multichannel approach in order to avoid becoming irrelevant.

This trend is being driven by shoppers themselves, with the rise of smartphones enabling people to visit real world stores and check out potential purchases in person, while also looking for the best price online. So companies like John Lewis need to find a way of capturing customers in both arenas.

Combining the online and in-store experience is crucial to this process, with tools like mobile apps, optimised websites and even location-based advertising using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC, all being added to retailers’ arsenals at the moment. But the convenience and money-saving capabilities of online shopping can be hard to overcome even with all of these in-store assets, especially among the UK’s web-savvy selection of shoppers.