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John Lewis Announces Personal Shopping Service Via Online Video Chat

Thursday, July 30, 2020 - 12:53 by Graham Miller

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Virtual meeting platform Zoom has become hugely popular around the world in the past few months, allowing businesses to operate remotely and giving families a means of communicating en masse without needing to share the same space. It is no surprise, then, that this service is being harnessed in the context of safe shopping online at a time when many high street retailers are still struggling to gain traction.

Department store giant John Lewis has revealed that it will be allowing its customers the opportunity to speak with personal shoppers to get advice and guidance about the purchases they should make with the help of Zoom calls, according to Internet Retailing.

People who are interested in taking advantage of this service will need to book an appointment with a personal shopper in advance and will then receive a half-hour consultation during which they can receive tips about a huge selection of products. This includes toys and gadgets as well as homeware items and much more besides.

Interestingly enough, John Lewis is choosing not to charge customers a penny for these conversations, although this is just a pilot project for the time being and has yet to be rolled out on a wide scale. Even so, it paints an interesting picture of what online shopping could look like in a post-coronavirus world.

Company spokesperson Steven Hand said that one of the main benefits of visiting a bricks and mortar John Lewis store is that the in-house staff are knowledgeable and able to field a wide variety of questions from customers, so it makes sense to extend this experience to the e-commerce sphere. Hopefully this will coax more people to shop online with the brand while also encouraging other e-commerce sites to follow suit.