M&S launches drive-through collection for fashion
M&S may have been seeing stronger results from its foods operation of late, but it continues to launch initiatives to boost its fashion ops and this week it has unveiled new click & collect solutions that it’s trialling with Doddle “as it turbocharges growth at M&S.com”.
Click & collect is key for fashion sales and for spurring growth via its website with the pandemic having accelerated the trend towards digital.
So M&S has launched two new trials for click & collect — in-store contactless collection (at Hempstead Valley, Camberley & Longbridge) and drive-up collection (at Camberley).
The company said: “With a number of customer benefits, both propositions are ideal for helping customers shop with confidence during this unprecedented time and offer a far more convenient and seamless journey — the drive-up collection for example eliminates two potential queues (to enter the shop and at the click & collect desk).”
Before March around 70% of online M&S orders were collected in Clothing and Food stores, but while this fell to a low of 15% when clothing space was closed, it has gradually been rising again in recent weeks and is now at around 50%.
The company is using Doddle’s technology and the initial three-store trial will help understand customer demand and “will be rigorously measured with data and by gathering extensive customer feedback”.
“The team will also measure the expectation that click & collect will become more efficient for colleagues to manage in-store using this technology,” M&S explained.
In addition to trialling customer-facing changes, M&S is also making “important behind the scenes changes to click & collect as it becomes a faster and more efficient operation adapted to changing customer shopping habits”.
This includes increasing the use of in-store picking and packing for online orders. It now has 239 stores fulfilling online orders, which is 153 more than pre-Covid.
The company added that it also used another simple tool to boost sales during lockdown. It had added the option on its website to ‘contact me when available’ for every single Clothing, Home and Beauty item. It means when an item is back in stock customers receive an email or text and then simply log on to order for delivery or next-day click & collect. The firm said that thousands of items are now purchased every week via the tool.
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