M&S is trailblazing online

Marks & Spencer has upped its online game this year and seems to really understand the importance of a seamless multichannel operation.

Rosie Baker

The retailer announced this week it is overhauling its website and e-commerce operation with a brand new look and a host of functions that make the online shopping experience more satisfying.

M&S has now introduced a raft of features designed to make online shopping more like the in-store experience. Customers should find it easier to shop and know what they’re really buying, without the frustration of being diverted from the page and not being able to browse items together.

The company has also taken into account the increasing reliance on peer reviews in the shopping journey and so customer reviews and ratings are included on product pages to flesh out the corporate product information.

Six months ago, it launched M&S TV, an innovative venture into branded digital content created by video experts Adjust your Set.

With over 190 online videos, integrated into its e-commerce, M&S is becoming more than just somewhere you can buy food, drink and clothes online.

Since the internet is increasingly becoming the first port of call for everything, be it finding an address or phone number or what wine to serve at a dinner party, it makes sense for a brand like M&S to set itself up as a resource to provide customers the information they’re searching for, at the same time as building trust in the brand and growing revenue.

A customer is likely to turn to a brand like M&S that they trust but also, because M&S TV clips can be hosted on social networking and video sharing sites, it’s an opportunity for M&S to get its content, and therefore its name, in front of internet users that wouldn’t have considered the brand before.

If they see an M&S TV clip showing make-up tips online, the next time they want to buy cosmetics they are more likely to return to M&S to buy it.

The approach is clearly working. M&S TV features a click-to-buy function that allows customers to buy what they see on screen with some categories, such as wine seeing a 90% sales uplift on products featured in online videos.

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