M&S launches in-store mobile payments to speed up shopping experience

The roll-out of the mobile payment service is part of Marks & Spencer’s strategy to become a digital-first retailer and use tech to improve the customer experience.

m&s mobile payment

Marks & Spencer is launching a mobile shopping service that aims to speed up the shopping experience and cut down on queues in-store.

The service, ‘Mobile, Pay, Go, allows users to pay for items without having to use a till. Part of the M&S mobile app, it allows users to scan products as they go and then pay for items worth up to £30 via their iPhone using Apple Pay or a saved card on their M&S.com account.

The service will be available in six London stores ahead of Christmas. It is already live in its Edgware Road store and at the Simply Food store at M&S’s HQ in Paddington, where 20% of sales are already via the app, equal to 170 items being purchased an hour.

The plan is to roll it out to stores in West Hampstead, Bankside, Canary Wharf and Stratford Westfield over the coming weeks. M&S claims the app will enable customers to buy lunch (a sandwich, crisps and a drink) in as little as 40 seconds. 

Sacha Berendji, retail, operations and property director at M&S, says: “Our customers – especially those who come to us for lunch – are so busy, any tech that can speed up the shopping experience is a massive benefit to them. Crucially, it also means our brilliant colleagues are freed up to offer great service in other parts of the store, helping to improve the overall experience in the lunchtime rush. We’re moving with pace and we can’t wait to hear what our customers think.”

The launch is part of M&S’s ambition to be a digital-first retailer as it prepares to close more than 100 stores over the next four years and move a third of its business online. It recently hired its first chief digital and data officer in Jeremy Pee and has set up a data academy that will take more than 1,000 colleagues from every retail function of the business – including marketing and customer service – and teach them about technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Jim Cruickshank, global head of digital product and UX at M&S, says: “Mobile Pay Go is one of many new initiatives we’re developing as part of our digital transformation, with agile and lean practices at the core of our approach. We’ve worked hard to deliver the fastest and most friction-free customer experience possible.”

The plan is to collect customer feedback on the service and adapt its functionality before rolling it out to more stores next year. The app was developed by M&S’s in-house digital experts, following an initial collaboration with The App Business.