Driving Growth through Retail Media & Marketplaces: Lessons from John Lewis

Emma Gleaden, Marketing Manager
14th June 2024

Digital X recently hosted a session on driving retail growth through deeper data insights, featuring key speakers from the John Lewis Partnership. The session looked into how John Lewis is leveraging data to create a customer-data-led strategy and a robust framework for understanding customer needs and behaviour. 

Moderated by Paul Skeldon, Editor at Internet Retailing, the session features insights from Rachel Wigmore, Head of Pan-Partnership Customer Planning and Tom Langley, who works in Customer Person & Retail Media at the John Lewis Partnership.

The Challenge of Profitability in Retail

The session began with a candid discussion on the increasing difficulty of maintaining profitability in retail. Rachel Wigmore highlighted the high costs associated with running customer loyalty programs and the fragmented nature of marketing data. In a sector where margins are thin, innovative strategies are essential for sustained growth and profitability.

Retail Media: Beyond Profit

Tom Langley went on to emphasise that retail media is not just a profit-generating tool, but a means to enhancing the customer experience. While retail media is well-established in the grocery sector, other industries can benefit from this approach. By sharing insights with suppliers and implementing a licence fee model, John Lewis enables an activation strategy that, although not hugely profitable alone, contributes to higher margins, better-connected marketing and sales plans.

Data-Driven Customer Insights

The John Lewis Partnership is transforming its use of data to drive a more personalised and effective customer experience. Langley discussed the complexities of measuring marketing success, noting the importance of triangulation, last-click attribution and rigorous testing. Ensuring that the entire business understands and utilises these insights is crucial, as is sharing these reports with brand partners.

Wigmore added that tracking the satisfaction of brand partners and the impact of campaigns on sales are key metrics for evaluating the success of their B2B services. Retail media revenue and profit are also critical, with the goal of creating a new profit stream, measuring success through partner satisfaction and the creation of new roles in the organisation. 

The Future of John Lewis

The session concluded with a forward-looking discussion on the future of the John Lewis Partnership. By leveraging deeper insights into customer behaviour and fostering strong retail media partnerships, the John Lewis Partnership is setting the stage for sustained growth and innovation. As the retail landscape continues to evolve, staying aligned with broader strategies and investing in both digital and physical channels will be key to success.

For retailers looking to navigate these challenges, our team is here to help you. Contact us today to learn how we can support your unique business needs.

Want us to help grow your business?

Give us a call, jump on a chat or come by our office in London. Our door is always open.