Marks & Spencer is planning to take website lessons from successful e-retailer Amazon.
The high-street chain has signed an agreement with Amazon-owned Amazon Services Europe to host and provide the technology for its branded website and its in-store and telephone ordering and customer services systems.
Marks & Spencer will retain responsibility for managing the website, customer service operations, warehousing and distribution.
The first phase of the work should be complete in summer 2006, and M&S expects to make cost savings through an integrated ordering service that can deal with purchases made in-store, online or by telephone.
Steven Sharp, marketing and e-commerce director at Marks & Spencer, said: “Marks & Spencer already has a successful website with over 24 million visits every year, but our e-commerce and customer ordering capabilities have yet to reach their full potential. A partnership with Amazon will help us achieve this, while allowing us to concentrate on our core business of retailing.”
The alliance with Marks & Spencer marks Amazon's entry into the European retail services market.