M&S bolsters tech team to push omnichannel growth - Just Style
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M&S bolsters tech team to push omnichannel growth

By Giacomo Lee 05 May 2021 (Last Updated May 5th, 2021 12:59)

Marks & Spencer is creating 85 new roles to help drive omnichannel growth as part of its newly formed MS2 division under which the retailer is setting itself up to serve shoppers best digitally in the future, including reflecting the shift to online shopping driven by the pandemic.

The new roles include 70 new software engineers to work in the dedicated technology function led by M&S’s chief technology officer Mike Yorwerth who joined M&S in January.

These engineers will join a growing team who together will create the future of intuitive and personalised shopping both online and in-store, M&S says. The 1,900-plus team is focused on creating and continually improving a personalised, customer experience platform that spans M&S.com, mobile apps, and an AI-driven Sparks programme, in addition to tech such as video powered retail.

M&S also plans to onboard 15 new trading roles in e-commerce under director of M&S.com Stephen Langford. The creation of these roles is part of a wider restructure within the team in order to focus on driving online growth by aligning with the M&S.com growth pillars – best offer, brilliant selling, and famous for service. The key changes are a bigger focus on trade, moving customer channels from marketing to dotcom, and the introduction of a dedicated Post Purchase Propositions sub-team.

These changes and the recruitment drive are all part of MS2, which brings together the data and online teams to invert the conventional model where M&S.com had been run as an extension of the stores business. This includes leveraging the store estate effectively through initiatives such as the new digital check-in for Click & Collect M&S which is trialling at 20 stores and efforts to turbocharge dotcom, such as the new Bradford warehouse.

“The rate of change at M&S is accelerating and under MS2, we’re dedicated to transforming into the digital-first, market-leading retailer we know we can be – truly pushing technology from our web stacks to machine learning, as far as possible,” says Yorwerth.

“This work is in the hands of some seriously impressive developers – a diverse group of the most empowered engineering teams anywhere in the UK and we’re so pleased to be growing this team with 70 new tech recruits, as well as 15 new colleagues to help us trade M&S.com as we drive online growth post the pandemic.”

The roles of varying levels will be recruited over the next few months.

The retailer recently announced the first tranche of guest brands to be sold on its website this spring under the new ‘Brands at M&S’ banner, which is also part of the newly formed MS2 division.