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Night-shift mobile shoppers are on the rise, John Lewis report finds

More people are shopping in the early hours of the morning as the use of mobiles increases, John Lewis’s second annual report into consumer behaviour has revealed.

Sales via johnlewis.com between midnight and 6am were up 31% over the past year, according to the John Lewis Retail Report published on October 10. The business would not provide a sales figure.

The report was based on data from thousands of John Lewis customer transactions online and in store between August 2013 and July 2014. It found men are increasingly logging on to the website late at night to buy formalwear, while more parents shop for nursery items at 4am and women buy shoes and handbags before 7am.

Buying and brand director Paula Nickolds told Drapers more customers lie in bed with their mobiles and make purchases than ever before. Half of the company’s web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets.

She added: “What’s really interesting is how much has changed in the last year [since the first report]. Things are changing in the mobile and technology space incredibly quickly.”

A third of John Lewis’s sales are made online, but 85% of total sales still involve bricks-and-mortar stores in some way, such as click-and-collect.

Nickolds expects consumers’ preference for technology and convenience to escalate over the next year, as mobile shopping, click-and-collect and beacon technology become the norm.

“Virtual reality will be increasingly important in the shop environment, but it must suit the customer and not just be used as a gimmick,” she added.

The report identified the 12 months to July 2014 as the year of the “sharply dressed man”. Men were bolder with their fashion choices, with sales of orange shirts up 361% and pink socks up 75%. “We’ve noticed less commercial patterns and colours coming through, such as the pink socks,” said Nickolds.

She said menswear had performed consistently well over the past two years and early results after introducing more contemporary brands, as Drapers reported last week, were “encouraging”.

Women were equally adventurous in their fashion choices during the year, embracing the trend for clashing floral prints. The sports luxe trend saw sales of women’s trainers grow 26%.

News and fictional TV characters also had a strong influence on sales. For example, Prince George’s appearances on the royal tour in April prompted an 18% rise in sales of baby sailor suits.

John Lewis’s Christmas TV advert will launch in the first week of November, alongside a mobile phone app that will tie in with the campaign.

To read the full report go to: www.johnlewis.com/retailreport 

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