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Marks & Spencer online sales grow as relaunched website takes off

Online sales rise at food and clothing retailer Marks & Spencer as it comes out of the other side of a redesign for its e-commerce website

Marks & Spencer has seen an increase in online sales following the relaunch of its e-commerce website in 2014.

Sales on M&S.com rose by 38.7% in the first quarter of 2015, a recovery from the drop earlier in the year when the firm moved its website away from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring it back in-house.

“We continue to make progress against our key priorities. Our food business did very well in a difficult market,” said Marks & Spencer chief executive Marc Bolland.

“M&S.com performance was very strong, with customers appreciating all the improvements to our website.”

The retailer has been continually updating its website and distribution centres to make the supply chain process more efficient.

M&S claims these improvements led to an increase in customer satisfaction as well as website traffic and conversion rates.

Although many retailers are closing stores in favour of digital alternatives, M&S took a different approach to omni-channel and opened more stores earlier in the year. Total UK sales rose by 1.9% in the first quarter of this year.

But although the retailer’s food range performed strongly, it suffered a 0.4% fall in sales of general merchandise, which comprises home goods and clothes.

M&S has been implementing a strategy to use technology to improve its overall business, including the use of predictive analytics, to ensure shelves are fully stocked; the use of customer engagement methods; and the adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID) tagging, to keep track of merchandise across the business.

This helps not only with business processes but also customer satisfaction, with most customers now citing stock visibility as extremely important when shopping.

Read more about omni-channel retail

  • Retailers should be adopting a unified platform and rethinking the value of stores if they want a true omni-channel business, says Demandware.
  • NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson told delegates at the SuiteWorld 2014 conference in San Jose, California, that omni-channel transcends retail.

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