Marks & Spencer has taken a key step towards building the new digital platform and ecommerce system that will be central to its aim of increasing multichannel sales to as much as £1bn by 2014.
The retailer has previously said it aims to boost its multichannel sales from £500m to between £800m and £1bn by 2014. Now it has commissioned SapientNitro to develop the new platform to be delivered in January 2014, which will replace existing online operations currently run in a partnership with Amazon.
By commissioning its first wholly-owned multichannel platform, M&S aims to gain flexibility so that it can better tailor its online offer to its customers’ needs, both in the UK and overseas.
M&S’ incoming executive director of multichannel ecommerce, Laura Wade-Gery, said: “We have had a very successful relationship with Amazon but in order to fulfil our multichannel ambitions we need to build and manage our own platform. SapientNitro’s expertise in multichannel customer experience, coupled with a strong understanding of our business and brand, make it the right partner to help us take our multichannel offer to the next level.”
Work to create the new multichannel platform will be led by SapientNitro, part of customer experience company Sapient. It will build key capabilities including ecommerce, content management, search and analytics to create a customised multichannel customer experience. Tata Consultancy Services will provide order management, product information management and integration with existing systems.
SapientNitro will also become M&S’ digital partner in a relationship that will extend beyond the delivery of the new digital platform in January 2014.
Nigel Vaz, managing director at SapientNitro, said: “We are tremendously excited to have the opportunity to work with an iconic British brand such as M&S on this strategic initiative. We fundamentally believe that with the development of its own multi-channel platform M&S will be able to harness its customer data assets to provide a better experience for its customers.”