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Marks & Spencer trials mobile payments app in stores

Kathleen Hall

Marks & Spencer is the latest retailer to boost its in-store experience with the trial of a mobile payments app in stores next month.

The pilot will allow customers to pay for their shopping using the Paddle app, created by Marks & Spencer’s innovation arm, M&S's Digital Lab.

Menus will be introduced in select M&S coffee shops compatible with the app.

An M&S spokesperson said: “Our new digital labs team will be working with Paddle on a small-scale trial of its proposition. Mobile and contactless payment is part of the future retail landscape and this is exactly the sort emerging technology we want our digital lab to explore.”

Christine Bardwell, analyst at IDG, said more retailers were investing in technology that could be used in-store as a way of enhancing the shopping experience.

“It’s not always necessarily technology with a clear return on investment. But they are looking to innovate more themselves and do a lot more trials and tests.”

John Lewis has said it intends to do as many technology trials as possible

John Lewis recently canned its virtual mirror project as part of its "failing fast at innovation" strategy.

Last year, John Lewis trialled two virtual StyleMe mirrors, developed by Cisco, with bespoke built-in 3D cameras to capture shoppers’ dimensions and superimpose a virtual outfit over their reflections.

Speaking at the Retail Business Technology Expo conference, head of IT architecture Julian Burnett said: "Failing fast at innovation is really important. You can waste a lot of time and energy if you don’t."

 


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