John Lewis refreshes its stores every season. It introduces new colours to reflect prevailing styles and the time of year, and to keep it on trend with technology updates, it works with The Creative Engine for its digital point-of-sale in its electronics departments nationwide.

“John Lewis is a trusted brand with a lot of history,” says lead product owner, Bekki Strathearn-Knight. “Traditionally, it’s the store where a lot of less technical shoppers would head when they need to buy a new computer. We’ve been working with the retail giant for many years, so understand how important it is that they provide meaningful information to its customers – not just a list of specs.”

Over the coming months, John Lewis wants to appeal to a wider demographic and attract a broader range of electronics equipment shoppers. That includes the second-time buyers who may already be familiar with the metrics used by computer manufacturers.

Bekki adds: “Everything we present in the POS has context. So, where we’ll state the size of a hard drive, we’ll also explain what that means in terms of the movies, songs or photos it could store.”

The details are pulled from an underlying database, which The Creative Engine builds from John Lewis’ own data sources. The database also includes more run-of-the-mill information, like the colours in which a PC is available and how it connects to the Internet.

 

Taking Windows further

“The most recent John Lewis POS refresh also gave us the opportunity to use some of Microsoft’s own point of sale tools,” says Bekki. “Most stores use what’s known as RDX, or Retail Demo Experience. It’s a secure desktop environment that simulates a fully-working PC, with relevant data pre-populated into core apps like the mail client, address book and calendar.”

While this gives the user an idea of what the apps look like, it’s not greatly interactive, so The Creative Engine was keen to introduce some additional Windows features.

“We worked with Microsoft to incorporate two of Windows 10’s most impressive additions: Ink, its digital pen and Cortana, its Virtual Assistant. Once we’d integrated them, users could create handwritten notes on a Surface device or touch-sensitive PC easily in-store. They could also ask Cortana questions and she’d give them meaningful answers. These were tailored to the store’s location, so if they asked what the weather was like, the response was totally relevant.”

 

Attracting the customer

Even the best POS will fail to deliver unless it engages the audience, so while working on the new content, we also updated the attract loop.

“Again, we used John Lewis’ seasonal colours, but we also made it more relevant,” Bekki says. “We wanted a bespoke loop for every kind of computer. So, if a PC is aimed at gamers and it’s got a particular graphics chip, it will play a full-screen demo of Dirt Rally 4 as well as the regular marketing messages.”

Combined, the changes that The Creative Engine made to John Lewis’ point of sale represent a significant refresh of an already successful implementation. Yet, they’re still only an interim step. Bekki and her team are already planning new features leading to a fuller reworking later this year.

If you’d like to talk through how you could refresh your on-screen point of sale, call The Creative Engine today on 01483 799 200 or email hello@creative-engine.co.uk

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