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M&S optimises pre-sale web content as it looks to keep pace with the online boom

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Marks & Spencer is set to revamp its pre-sale online content in a bid to turbocharge growth around its M& site on all platforms as it struggles to tap into the lockdown swing to ecommerce.

Forming a partnership with multi-language content production and optimisation company Quill, the retailer is hoping to leverage Quill’s ability to produce online product content for M& at unparalleled speed, scale, quality consistency and efficiency.

High quality website content that is optimised to maximise online sales is critical to the Elite RXUK Top500 research retailer’s plans to drive growth on its website. Back in August the retailer had to reduce its floorspace by 12% and laid off 7000 workers as it saw store sales plummet while online surged 40%.

M&S has selected Quill to deliver more than 50,000 pieces of high-performing content, all underpinned by the Quill’s best-in-class conversion rate and search engine optimisation expertise. The content will be delivered over two years, and includes product and category description content, as well as online customer buying guides. 

Optimising these critical pieces of pre-purchase content, such as product descriptions, is expected to propel a higher proportion of M&S’s website visitors through their purchase journey, not only increasing online revenue but also improving the ROI on all of M&S’s marketing activity that drives traffic to its website. Alongside this partnership M&S is focused on continuing to build its digital marketing capabilities.

As the industry’s only specialist in the high volume production of ecommerce content, Quill was well placed to secure this partnership, having proven the efficiency and impact of its solution with over 240 other leading retailers and ecommerce brands around the world, including eBay, Tommy Hilfiger, Louis Vuitton, John Lewis, MATCHESFASHIONand Marc Jacobs. Quill’s award-winning content production model innovatively combines advanced efficiency-driving technology with the world’s best editorial talent, enabling the production of extremely large volumes of consistently high-quality content at speed. 

Stuart Stiles, Head of Product Content for M& explains: “Customer shopping habits have changed, the trend toward digital has been accelerated which means ensuring great content on our website is even more critical. Quill is the leading supplier of SEO, website-ready product descriptions. Working with Quill over the past year, we have seen fantastic results in terms of quality, collaboration, and speed and we’re looking forward to continuing to work together.” 

The contract follows an initial one-year period in which Quill created 20,000 unique product descriptions for M&S at an unprecedented pace. By engaging an experienced team of 200 freelance content creators and integrating into M&S’s ecommerce systems, Quill maintained a 24-hour turn-around on optimised content, achieving an average quality score of 99% – meaning consistently error-free content, aligned with the brand’s tone-of-voice. Seasonal briefing days with M&S buying teams also ensured strong familiarity with the brand’s product ranges and product innovations.

Ed Bussey, Founder and CEO at Quill, adds: “We’re extremely proud to be able to support the accelerated digital transformation of one of the UK’s top retail brands.  This is a challenging market environment for all retailers, and the winners will be those who pivot fast to a digital-first approach. M&S recognises this, and we’re excited to be able to expand our engagement with them on that journey.”

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