M&S becomes first major high street retailer to offer true mobile shopping – and not an app in
Marks & Spencer
(M&S) has become the first major UK high street retailer to go properly mobile, with the launch of a mobile-optimised version of its main e-commerce site. Customers on the move can now shop on a site that has been developed specifically to enable them to search, browse and buy easily from any web-enabled mobile phone or device.
The site will always be in sync with the main M&S website so that customers can log into their regular web-account and manage their shopping basket from their mobile. There is no need to download an app or any software – users simply type www.marksandspencer.com
into their phone’s internet browser.
“This is a major step forward in mobile retailing. Mobile optimised shopping sites have been done before by specialist retailers, but M&S entering the market with 21 million customers, one of the UK’s most recognised brands and a well-known range of products changes the mobile retail landscape,” says Dave Hughes, Director of M&S Direct.
“Even before the site has launched, hundreds of thousands of customers are already shopping with us on their mobile phones and market data is telling us that this will soon be millions. The new site allows these customers to browse and buy from their mobile device without the frustrations that come with trying to do the same on a traditional website.
“We expect customers to buy a wide range of products on their mobile, from suits and dresses right through to technology and can see gifting-on-the-go, flowers and hampers for example, becoming extremely popular.”
Launched in 2000, www.marksandspencer.com is one of UK’s top ten retail websites1 with more than 4 million customers. Customers will find more than 24,000 products – including clothing, home and furniture, technology such as TVs and iPods and gifts such as flowers and food hampers – and almost all of the functionality from the main M&S website.
As traditional online retail matures, mobile is expected to become the growth area for internet retailing. 48 million people use 76 million mobile phones in the UK today and the proportion that are smart phones (iPhone, Blackberry etc) – which make surfing the web faster and easier – is growing rapidly; currently 50 per cent, according to mobile marketing agency Incentivated
One in 10 of all internet pages viewed in the UK are viewed on a mobile device, says Incentivated, and the number of adults using mobile internet is expected to double in the next two years with 50 per cent of the UK adult population using mobile web by 2012, according to Yahoo!.
A recent report by Morgan Stanley even predicts that “more users are likely to connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years.”