Posts tagged with Marks & Spencer

Battle of the Christmas chatbots: Why M&S beats Lego & ASOS

Christmas is a time for drinking mulled wine, eating mince pies, and panic-buying naff presents for people.

This year, a few retailers are doing their utmost to make the latter experience a little less stressful, by launching their own gift-finding chatbots.

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M&S director of customer loyalty on the retailer's Sparks strategy

Nathan Ansell, Director of Customer Loyalty for Marks & Spencer, will be speaking at this year’s Festival of Marketing.

Ahead of the London event on 4/5 October (see the agenda and book tickets here), I caught up with Nathan to talk about M&S’s approach to data and customer loyalty. Here’s what he had to say.

M&S to trial grocery delivery service: Will it take off?

Marks & Spencer has announced that it is to trial an online grocery delivery service this year, expanding into an area that it has famously resisted. 

So, what’s behind the decision? And will M&S become an actual contender in the competitive grocery market as a result? Here’s a bit more on the story and what it might mean for the brand. 

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All the digital news stories you missed this week

Digital news this week is as rich as French cuisine.

Acquisitions, hacking controversies, ecommerce records, Trump policies, product launches and more.

Here's what you missed...

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Six iconic retailers and their digital transformation journeys

How is retail being changed by digital?

What better way to find out than by looking at six icons of retail, three from the US (Macy's, Walmart, Walgreens) and three from the UK (John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, and Boots).

Here are their digital transformation journeys, as they fight to compete with online and agile competitors.

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Marks & Spencer: what does 'putting the customer at the heart of everything' mean?

Marks & Spencer has been all over the UK news this week, in the way that only Marks & Spencer can.

The media and the public seem to go misty-eyed at the merest mention of the brand, and are willing it to find the good times again.

Unfortunately, we're not buying its clothing or homeware - something the new CEO wants to remedy by "putting the customer at the heart of everything".

But what does that actually mean?

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Marks & Spencer's new Australian website: six things to note

Marks & Spencer has just launched new localised ecommerce sites to cater to Australia and New Zealand.

Previously, Australians could shop online via M&S’s UK-run website, which delivers to 30 countries worldwide, but now they have localised payment, content and returns.

I've had a look through the site, trying to spot best practice or any teething problems. Here's what's worth knowing.

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M&S launches new website, focuses on curation, clustering and content

The new Marks & Spencer website, two years in the making, is a feast for the eyes. As a replatform, it cost a lot of money and accompanies other changes such as an upgraded contact centre and new in-store tech and merchandising.

In this first look at the site, I'll be pointing out the most obvious changes and discussing why it's a step change and effectively gives the impression of 'luxe high street' online.

What stands out is the focus on visuals, a curated experience with magazine-style editorial, and a user experience that’s particularly impressive on tablet. This isn’t a surprising approach given that 44% of Christmas traffic to the website was from tablets and the brand is moving to a ‘lean back’ experience online for those that want it.

I’ll be following this post with more discussion of the new site and its various features that could be set to revitalise the brand across devices (the M&S mobile site and its apps have been updated, too).

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M&S and Next report strong online sales, but could they improve site UX?

Marks & Spencer has reported a 22.7% increase in online sales in the three months to the end of December, though it wasn’t enough to prevent an overall decline in sales.

Like-for-like sales fell by 2.1%, though there was a small improvement over the last eight weeks of the year during which M&S launched a sale, with general merchandise sales up 0.5%.

M&S’s disappointing results come after Next achieved impressive sales figures over the festive season, with the latter reporting that in-store and online sales increased by 12% in the period November 1 to December 24.

John Lewis also had a record breaking end to 2013, reporting that online sales for the five weeks to 28 December were 22.6% up on last year with johnlewis.com accounting for 31.8% of the total John Lewis business during this period.

Having previously examined the reasons behind John Lewis’ continued success in ecommerce, I thought I’d compare Next and M&S’s approaches to online retail.

Could M&S' new personalised recommendations be more social?

Marks & Spencer has introduced personalised recommendations to its website.

Customers will be shown other products based on recently viewed items, items that other customers have purchased and top sellers. 

M&S says that by adjusting results in real-time users see suggestions that are “highly relevant and meaningful.”

Q&A: Sienne Veit on Marks & Spencer's social media strategy

Marks & Spencer's online strategy has gone through a variety of changes in recent months. As well as revamping their main website, the British retail giant has embraced social media by incorporating ratings and reviews into their website, and using Facebook and Twitter to join the conversation and better engage with customers. 

It is encouraging to see a major brand like M&S experimenting with new online channels. By incorporating social media into their strategy, Marks & Spencer has enhanced its ability to respond to customers. Additionally, the brand is better placed to manage their online reputation more effectively.

At a recent iCrossing social media briefing, I asked Business Development Manager, Sienne Veit about the changes that Marks & Spencer has implemented and the impact of social media on the brand. 

Target going in-house for e-commerce

Target, the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, has announced that it will bring its e-commerce website, Target.com, in-house in time for the 2011 holiday season.

Since 2001, Target.com has been run in partnership with Amazon.com. The e-commerce giant's platform powers the Target.com website and Amazon.com handles much of the call center and fulfillment operations.