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M&S online sales up 29% in first half of year

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"Sales from our website were up 29%, outperforming the on-line clothing market," Marks and Spencer reports in its financial statement for the six months to 26 September. "Our on-line clothing market share increased to 4.8% from 4.2% (Fashiontrak). The traffic to the site grew by 30% over the half.

"We recently completed a full refresh of our website," the retailer adds. "We have improved the user experience through added functionality, enhanced the look and feel of the pages, improved ease of navigation and clarity of our on-line offer. We are using more inspirational and educational video formats, such as M&S TV, which are becoming increasingly important in customer purchasing decisions. The new site has been ranked the most user friendly retail website according to a recent Webcredible annual study (last year 8th). Our customers have reacted positively to the new design and features and conversion has increased since the re-launch."

"Our product availability and order fulfilment continue to improve," Marks and Spencer continues. "In July we replaced our old in-store ordering system with a new click and collect service called 'Shop your Way'. The new service allows customers to order either at home or in store and have merchandise delivered to any location. It is now available in 166 stores, and a full roll out to all stores is planned after Christmas. The new service is proving very popular with customers — last week alone over £1m of GM orders were placed using the system."

"In the longer term we have clear plans to deliver sustainable growth by driving international and multi-channel, supported by the roll out of new supply chain and systems platforms," says Sir Stuart Rose, chairman of Marks and Spencer.

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