M&S prepares to relaunch online platform

Marks & Spencer has moved closer to launching its first independent ecommerce and multi-channel platform that would allow it to better collect and use customer data.

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The retailer has tasked SapientNitro to build the new platform, which is part of CEO Marc Bolland’s strategy to transform the retailer from a UK to an international multi-channel retailer by 2015.

Last year, Bolland outlined M&S’s plans to sever ties with Amazon, which currently hosts its online platform, and build a more flexible bespoke platform to help accelerate international growth and better integrate its multi-channel operations.

M&S will take full ownership of the platform and all its customer data, which will allow the retailer to better tailor its services to customer needs.

The development will be overseen by Laura Wade-Gery who was appointed as M&S’s first multi-channel chief last year. She formerly headed up Tesco.com.

Wade-Gery, executive director of multi-channel ecommerce at M&S, says: “We have had a very successful relationship with Amazon but in order to fulfil our multi-channel ambitions we need to build and manage our own platform.”

M&S aims to more than doubling its online sales to £1bn in the next three years.

SapientNitro will build the ecommerce, content management, search and analytics platforms for the site.

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