M&S in digital store overhaul

Marks and Spencer is ramping up its use of in-store technology as part of CEO Marc Bolland’s store overhaul programme.

Marks & Spencer

The retailer is trialling the use of iPads in stores to improve the customer service it provides, better integrate its ecommerce business and give customers access to a wider range than is available in every store.

The initiative sees sales assistants in stores such as London’s Marble Arch equipped with iPads so that they can help customers make purchases or buy products online that aren’t available in store.

It is part of Bolland’s efforts to better integrate its multichannel operations. Items ordered can then be delivered to customers’ homes or to a local store for next day collection.

An M&S spokesperson claims the initiative will work particularly well in departments such as men’s tailoring where it is a big ticket purchase with lots of options.

The retailer has also installed digital kiosks in newly introduced beauty departments that allow customers to access online tools such as the “virtual makeover” launched earlier this year.

Around 10% of all online sales of the cosmetic range, which was introduced earlier this summer, come through customers using the online tool and it is hoped that introducing it to stores will help boost sales.

There are also plans to extend the three store trial of its Style Online multichannel initiative. Launched earlier this year, Style Online uses digital kiosks and touch-screens to give customers in smaller stores better access to M&S’s full range of fashion brands such as Autograph and Per Una in stores that would not normally carry the ranges.

Similar digital initiatives could be rolled out beyond M&S’s clothing departments.

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