UK department store John Lewis is merging the online and offline worlds, trialing a virtual store that will allow shoppers to buy a range of products using smartphones and QR codes.
Retailer John Lewis is extending its click and collect offering by launching a virtual store. The Brighton Waitrose branch features a window display where shoppers can scan QR codes to purchase featured items from the retailer’s ‘Top 30 Favourite Things for Christmas’ including Lego and the Amazon Kindle.
After scanning a QR code, the shopper is linked to the John Lewis mobile site to make the purchase. If products are ordered before 7pm, they will be available for collection from the store from 2pm the next day.
‘The roll-out of our Click and Collect service to Waitrose shops is proving incredibly popular. This new 24 hour virtual shop in the heart of Brighton takes that convenience to another level,’ says Craig Inglis, Marketing Director for John Lewis.
The virtual store, available until the end of December, is yet another example of the way the department store has adapted to modern technology and is thinking outside the box to target shoppers. Earlier this year, John Lewis launched an initiative to offer customers free WiFi access in-store to encourage them to shop online and announced plans to launch bespoke stores to target multichannel shoppers.
With smartphone usage on the rise and time-poor, savvy shoppers comfortable switching between on and offline in an instant, retailers are looking for new ways to engage their customers. eBay opened a QR store in London’s West End in early December, Shanghai has ‘shopping walls’ in 70 subway stations and Tesco has a virtual supermarket in Korea. So while we’re patiently waiting in line to sneak a peak at the Myer Christmas Window, will we soon be able to multitask and partake in some virtual window shopping too? Will QR code stores become the norm?