John Lewis shares insight into changing consumer habits


Retail report 2016 shows growing demand for avocado-based products and "more sophisticated" beauty purchases

John Lewis has shared its annual Retail Report for 2016, showing that its customer are embracing a “bolder, braver” style.

Despite uncertainty in the economy, John Lewis says its customers are making bolder choices, partially with the help of more information and shopping options.

Dyson hairdryers and avocados

Several beauty products made their way into the retailer’s list of “products that defined the year”. John Lewis says that more customers have bought the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer than any other model since its launch this year.

Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment was another trending product, thanks to its inclusion of hot ingredient avocado. Searches for products containing the popular fruit were up 85% compared to last year.

Repeat purchases

Perhaps surprisingly, John Lewis reported that 59% of beauty purchases were not researched beforehand. The retailer suggested that this was because many customers know exactly what they want or are replenishing supplies of an old favourite.

The beauty section of the John Lewis website saw a 76% increase in visits from smartphones in 2016 compared to 2015. Overall, visits to the retailer’s beauty pages were up 41%.

Sophisticated beauty fans

Beauty consumers are also thought to have become more sophisticated in the past few years, spending across a broader range of categories. Since 2008, sales of tinted moisturiser have increased 224% while bronzer sales are up 114% and lipstick sales have increased 99%.

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John Lewis also found that “there is no typical customer” with single consumers switching between different shopping missions across any one week. The store also discovered that consumers are switching between physical shops and online channels within the same purchase.