Marks & Spencer turns web site into global, multi-channel marketplace

M&S: global and mobile online marketplace

M&S: global and mobile online marketplace

Marks & Spencer (M&S) is using new software to transform its web site into a global marketplace where customers can shop from any country, device or channel.

The move is part of M&S’s aim to become the UK’s leading multi-channel retailer, growing sales to between £800m to £1bn by 2013/14, up from £543m in 2010/11. 

The software has been supplied by IBM and provides integrated purchasing, order management and customer service capabilities across all of the retailer’s sales channels. 

According to IBM, this is designed to help M&S capitalise on the growth of mobile, social and multi-channel purchasing by consumers.  

M&S said it hopes to appeal to these increasingly online audiences domestically and establish a global customer base for its online store. 

With 64% of consumers making a first purchase because of a digital experience, it’s critical retailers understand this online behaviour and refine their marketing and e-commerce activities appropriately, said IBM.

M&S said it needed to capture its customers’ behaviour accurately in order to be able to personalise its communications with them and to provide the same level of service to shoppers, regardless of their mode or channel of interaction. 

“The explosion of personalised data now accessible to consumers through social media, online and mobile interactions is causing fundamental changes in the way retailers operate,” said David Hogg, David Hogg, Smarter Commerce solutions lead North-East Europe, UK and Ireland, IBM. 

“It requires a new approach – which IBM calls Smarter Commerce – that puts the customer at the centre of its business. With the new software now in place, M&S can take action based on a consistent view of a customer’s order across any of the sales channels they have chosen. In this way, customers can continue to enjoy the high levels of service they have come to expect from this major UK retailer, while M&S can expand its business by increasing sales worldwide.”

Marks & Spencer is also implementing customer experience management software from Endeca, including search and merchandising technologies, to support the growth of its international multi-channel business.