John Lewis to deploy new web site platform this year

By Stuart Sumner
28 Feb 2012 View Comments
John Lewis store in Sloane Square

John Lewis will roll out a new web platform this year, as it looks to future-proof itself against new developments in mobile web technology, social media and search functionality.

The new platform is a product from Art Technology Group (ATG), a firm acquired by database giant Oracle in November 2010.

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Speaking exclusively to Computing, John Lewis CIO Paul Coby said the new platform is considered to be one of the default choices for his industry.

"ATG is one of the two or three standard platforms for e-commerce in retail."

He added that while it won't provide any new functionality immediately, it will allow for the flexibility to deploy new services in the future.

"It will give us nothing fundamentally different initially, as we want a smooth transition. The aim is to give us another 10 years of upward development. For example, how we then integrate mobile and social media and new search engines into the site is going to be key.

"So it's really to give us capability for the future."

Currently, the John Lewis website runs on the Buy.com platform acquired by the firm's chairman, Charlie Mayfield, in 2000.

"It serves us fantastically well – it's a great product," said Coby.

"The way we've developed it fits well with the John Lewis brand. It feels crisp and clean, and has a good search on it.

"But it's really legacy technology now, and we need something different as we look to the future."

The firm will also roll out a new point-of-sale system to its UK stores later this year, following a successful trial in Leicester over Christmas.

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