More than half of traffic to John Lewis website is from mobile devices but majority of sales are still in store, retailer reveals

John Lewis: favourite store

The second annual John Lewis Retail Report launches today, exploring a year’s worth of shopping data to reveal why and what consumers bought, and how they bought it in the last 12 months. Never before have shoppers been so comfortable with browsing and buying on their tablets and smartphones, the study shows. On average, over 50% of web traffic to now comes from mobile devices.

The rise of mobile shopping has seen more people making purchases in the early hours, with online sales between the hours of midnight and 6.00am up 31% over the past year. What people buy at night makes for fascinating reading. At 2.00am men log on to buy formalwear, perhaps indulging in post-party purchasing. Around 4.00am, the nation’s parents seek some respite from their early awakenings to shop for nursery items for their little angels, while between 5.00 and 7.00am women’s shoes and handbags see a boost as Britain’s females dream of new additions to their wardrobe.

While mobile has become increasingly important, the ability to mix and match purchase channels and delivery options is now the norm. Saying this, around 70 % of all sales still take place in shops.

As well as exploring the nation’s shopping habits, the John Lewis Retail Report provides rich data on the nation’s zeitgeist. For instance, this was the year that customers invested in their sleep. Duvets and pillows increased 20% and 18% respectively and even traditional alarm clocks were up 17% against the same period last year.

In 2014 consumers weren’t just pre-occupied with sleep, their obsession with culinary achievement also continued. Inspired by the likes of Masterchef , Britain’s aspiring chefs took on the challenges of making pasta and filleting fish. Sales of ravioli kits, Pasta Night In, shot up by 315%, fishbone tweezers by 37% and fish filleting knives by 16%.

This was the year of the ‘menaissance:’ the re-appearance of the sharply dressed man. Men got bolder with their fashion choices: orange shirts were up 361 % and pink socks up 75%. Women were equally as adventurous, embracing the trend for clashing floral prints. Floral patterned trousers and flower motif tops were best-sellers.

The report maps key events from the past year to show how they influenced sales. Last year’s surprise TV hit, Gogglebox, prompted sales of laptrays to rise by 18% in February; Prince George prompted a trend in nautical children’s fashion on the Royal Tour Down Under in April, and the playground craze for Loom Bands peaked in May.

Andy Street, nmanaging director of John Lewis, comments: “It seems fitting that in our 150th year as a retailer we are reflecting on the nation’s shopping habits. Since our first shop opened in 1864, John Lewis has a barometer for changing trends and tastes.”

“This year’s report is even more insightful than last year’s, with richer data, including new sections, such as how the nation shops for its children. We hope that in years to come people will turn to our report for a nostalgic glimpse of the trends that shaped the nation’s shopping habits.”

The John Lewis Retail Report is created every year and is based on real data, which comes from the many thousands of customer transactions which take place every day on its website and in its shops.