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M&S trials new two hour Click & Collect service in UK

Feb '20
Pic: Marks & Spencer
Pic: Marks & Spencer
M&S, UK’s biggest clothing retailer, has introduced an 11pm cut-off time for Click & Collect orders in the UK. It means the retailer, which has nearly 9 million website visits a week, has improved the important proposition from 8pm to 11pm in the last 12 months. This change has been trialled with selected customers since the start of 2020.

M&S is targeting 30 per cent of its sales online by 2022 (currently at 22 per cent), and alongside this the retailer's reshaping its store estate to reflect customers’ changing shopping habits. With the UK Click & Collect market expected to be worth almost £10 billion by the year 2023, the newly improved Click & Collect proposition is an important part of better serving customers for the future. Currently around 70 per cent of online orders are collected in an M&S store and building a digitally connected store network (including food-only stores) is vital for online growth.

Increasing the time, a customer can order until is the latest improvement from M&S to the free service – last year the retailer introduced 170 of its convenience locations as collection points (including stores in BP garages, railway stations and hospitals).

The improvement is designed to make shopping with M&S easier and more convenient for busy families across the UK. These customers most commonly browse online in the evening (with 7-10pm the peak). However, around 5 per cent of all M&S orders are placed between 10pm and 11pm meaning hundreds of thousands of customers will benefit from this change. Whilst occasionally customers do order later, 10-11pm is also the most popular time in the UK to go to bed so the vast majority of orders are before 11pm.

Customers want to collect quickly – although they have ten days to pick up their parcels, over 50 per cent opt to collect it the next day. As busy customers are looking for convenience (and to get their parcels quickly), the most popular collection time is lunchtime with nearly 30 per cent of orders being collected between mid-day and 2pm. There is another peak later on (around 5pm) as customers travel home from work.

With Click & Collect growing in popularity amongst M&S’s target customers, the retailer is trialling an express service in 17 bigger stores (including Cheshire Oaks, Manchester and Oxford Street) - customers order online and can collect their parcel two hours later. M&S is monitoring the trial closely to consider where and when it might roll out further.

“M&S is changing and we’ve got an ambitious target to have one third of our clothing sales online by 2022, to do this we must improve how we serve our increasingly busy customers. Our free click & collect service is already incredibly popular and in the last 12 months we’ve made it even more convenient by adding pick-up points at our railway station stores and other smaller store locations. The latest improvement will enable thousands more customers to benefit from the service – by catering for that pre-bedtime browse and shop window between 10pm and 11pm,” said Simon Wood, head of M&S.  

Alongside this change M&S continues to make improvements across its online business – including the mobile browsing experience, critical for busy parents – 74 per cent of kidswear searches on M&S’s website comes from a mobile device - the highest for any M&S category. This financial year the retailer has already introduced Bloomreach, a number of SEO fixes and new convenient ways for customers to pay including Clearpay and Pay Pal.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (PC)

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