UK: M&S to roll out wi-fi in multi-channel push
M&S is set to roll out free wi-fi in its stores
Retailer Marks & Spencer plans to roll out in-store wi-fi and equip some staff with iPads as part of efforts to boost sales and improve the customer experience.
The moves were announced as the company opened its second-largest UK store in Cheshire Oaks today (29 August). The 151,000 square foot eco-flagship will also offer 12 'Browse and Order' screens.
The retailer hopes the moves will encourage customers to browse its full range while in store - and is using the internet to "reinvent store shopping," according to multi-channel and e-commerce director Laura Wade-Gery.
As part of its efforts, she said the company is investing GBP100m (US$158m) on new in-store technology, and GBP150m on a new online platform. The investments are part of the company's goal of reaching GBP800m-1bn in online sales by 2015.
"Our scale and ambition is huge and we are putting real money behind this," the former Tesco e-commerce boss said. "M&S is putting more money behind this than I had at Tesco."
Speaking about the company's technology strategy, Wade-Gery said she is more interested in the rate of improvement: "If it's not going to work, fail fast and move on".
Describing why developing the company's multi-channel offer is so important, Wade-Gery said customers who shop across two channels, like in-store and online, are worth four times more than a customer that only shops one channel.
And customers who shop three channels - in-store, online and on mobile - are worth eight times as much as the customer who only visits the store.
Wade-Gery emphasised that technology is there to improve and work in tandem with the in-store experience, and does not foresee significant store closures as people migrate online.
"For me, if we can show we have genuinely improved and changed the shopping experience [with technology], I think that's what people prefer. Online only is not what people want," she said.
Generally, 2013 is seen as being another challenging year for the apparel industry - although there is cautious optimism for an improved business environment. Issues such as compliance, sustainability...
Opportunities the apparel industry should focus on this year include developing strategic relationships to improve flexibility across the supply chain; a focus on adding value through design, innovati...
What should apparel firms have learnt from the upheaval of the past couple of years - and what should they be doing now if they want to remain competitive into the future? They need to remain nimble e...
Danish clothing firm IC Companys has joined the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), which works to reduce the environmental and social impacts of global apparel and footwear production....
Ascena Retail Group has named Ronnie Robinson president of its new global sourcing initiative, as the women's wear retailer looks to move to a central sourcing base....
- How apparel retailers should react to Brexit
- Britain votes for Brexit – what happens next?
- US fashion firms share their sourcing strategies
- Retailers warned of high volatility in Brexit wake
- Brexit uncertainty over pending EU trade deals
- Online fabric platform to "revolutionise" buying
- Uniqlo said to be scaling back US expansion
- Better Work Vietnam launches labour law mobile app
- UK must act with urgency to cut Brexit uncertainty
- Alliance cuts ties with three more factories
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar
- Primark Stores Limited: Retailing - Company Profile & SWOT Analysis
- Clothing & Footwear Retailing in Indonesia– Market Summary & Forecasts
- Clothing & Footwear Retailing in Denmark
- Clothing & Footwear Retailing in China – Market Summary & Forecasts