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John Lewis IT director Paul Coby on the challenges of Christmas

2014-12-24 09:06:06 | 日記
Paul Coby faces his second Christmas as IT director at department store chain John Lewis. Since joining the retailer in March 2011, after many years as CIO at British Airways, he has embraced what he calls the "retail revolution" brought about by technology, and is leading the IT aspects of the firm's "omnichannel" retail vision to combine physical and digital worlds into a seamless shopping experience. Computer Weekly asked him about the challenges of the seasonal shopping peak. 

What have been the main highlights of technology-related work during the run-up to Christmas?

Something that was really exciting for us was the launch of our much-awaited Snowman ad. As we did last year, we launched the ad on social media before it went live on TV and we found that works extremely well. We had well over two-and-a-half million views and that is really exciting to see.

We also have a rather nice John Lewis Christmas annual that we have launched as an iPad app which is downloadable free from the App store. It is a gorgeous printed annual but also an app.

The main point is we are showing how we are integrating conventional advertising with the social media world and finding that things like this do provide a new dimension in connecting with customers.

Would it be right to say that your arrival meant a new push when it comes to technology-led, customer-focused initiatives?

I wish I could say it was all down to me. I have obviously been 2000% behind our "omnichannel" retail vision and working hard to support our colleagues in delivering that. Omnichannel means that when you shop, the experience feels seamless between channels. It is about creating what we believe is a new way people will shop and not just about being in a building or online, but joining these things up.

But it isn't just me and I would not want to come across as "I saved the world". The fact is that at John Lewis it is all about changing the retail world together and I think that we are starting on that
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