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  • Hugo Walker

John Lewis Partnership works with Google Cloud in £100m digital transformation

The John Lewis Partnership (JLP) has partnered with Google Cloud in a deal to develop a unique digital-retail experience for its customers.

With a £100 million pledge for the next five years, JLP will leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence from the tech giant’s repertoire to create an interactive and bespoke shopping experience.

"Imagine a world where a customer can use an image scanning feature in their John Lewis App to show our Home Design Stylists a room they’re looking to furnish, which tells us all we need to know about the intricacies of the space, layout and measurements," explained Zak Mian, chief transformation and technology officer at JLP.

"Not only does it save customers a lot of time and hassle, but even before the appointment we can take inspiration from their unique preferences and give tailored recommendations that can even complement products they already have. We’re looking forward to an era of fresh innovation."

The partnership comes as many retailers endeavour to enhance and personalise the digital shopping experiences as online purchases skyrocket relative to the high street. Outform recently developed a digital mannequin, while on the other side of the pond, Kroger is introducing smart screens in their stores.

Mr Mian continued: "At the John Lewis Partnership we’ve always been focused on finding better ways to do business. Today’s announcement marks a significant step in transforming our technology, and ensures that our Partners have the best tools to provide our customers with even more personalised experiences, across all our channels."

In addition to the interactive online experience, JLP are working on a pan-partnership loyalty scheme which they hope to launch in 2024, bolstered by its new partnership with Google.

Nish Kankiwala, chief executive officer at the John Lewis Partnership, added: "Investing in cutting-edge technology is not just a choice, it’s a necessity for a modern retailer like us. Core to our strategy is building our technology infrastructure for the long term, drawing on latest innovations to benefit our customers."

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