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M&S recreates in-store customer homeware advice online with live video service

In-store tech now essential for staff (Image: M&S)

M&S has launched a live video service designed to help bring the retailer’s renowned in-store service to its online customers.

The M&S Video Expert service, powered by Go Instore, enables staff from beauty and furniture departments to connect to customers shopping from home, offering convenience and flexibility alongside the service customers expect from the retailer.  Initially, staff at M&S’s White City store will be providing the service.

M&S Video Expert combines M&S’s retail expertise with Go Instore’s unique live-video services and Appointedd’s online booking and scheduling platform. The service allows shoppers to have one-to-one consultations with M&S experts from the comfort of their home and on demand via product pages on the website, informing their purchases before choosing to complete either online or in-store.

The additional M&S Video Expert booking feature means customers can pre-book two-way personalised video calls with an in-store expert at a time of their convenience to discuss how furniture and beauty products will best fit their needs. 

The service also enables M&S staff to deliver one-to-many interactive ‘StoreStream’ live sessions on their website, which allows an unlimited number of customers to join a live stream broadcast to learn more about the products as they are browsing. This allows M&S to reach a much wider audience, all whilst maintaining their high levels of customer service as customers are able to chat & ask questions in real time – a convenient, efficient, and modern omnichannel experience. 

“The last year has accelerated many of the trends and shopping patterns we were seeing pre-crisis and we have responded by building a shopping experience that’s fit for the future, enabling customers to shop the way that they want. Our M&S Live Expert service helps us to offer our customers flexible, easy and rewarding shopping experiences whether they choose to shop online, in-store, or both,” says Clive Hudson, 10x Digital Store Programme Manager at M&S.  

“The service has proven really popular, our in-store experts have taken over 9000 calls so far. What’s more, connecting staff to online customers is increasing our conversion rates by up to 40% and receiving 92% consumer satisfaction scores. Our customers have booked a total of 500 appointments in just 3 months, demonstrating the high demand for our enhanced digital offering,” adds Hudson.  

“We have seen too many household brands disappearing from our high streets due to little to no response to changing consumer behaviours. The combination of our one-to-many and one-to-one solutions means M&S customers can enjoy the entire purchasing journey from the comfort of their own homes. From initial shop-window browsing all the way through to personal consultations with an expert, M&S is adapting to a permanent change in shopping habits and preparing for the future of retail,” says Andre Hordagoda, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Go Instore.  

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