Of necessity M&S.com has become obsessed with customer choice and the concept of ‘shopping missions’ in recent years. So we’re delighted to be welcoming the website’s Head of Operations, Ricky Wilson, to shed light on what this means operationally, and how M&S has vastly improved its multichannel offering in line with shopper preferences.
Give us a taste of what you’ll be talking about at eDelivery Conference 2016:
“When you promise a certain level of service and choice, it’s absolutely vital to get it right,” says lifelong M&S-er Wilson who is extremely affable and knowledgeable with 15 years’ ecommerce leadership experience under his belt. “What’s interesting about M&S at the moment is that 70% of all online clothing and homewares orders are collected by customers from M&S stores. This provision has grown enormously – driven by our demographic. We have a lot of loyal die-hard M&S customers who are in our stores weekly, and want to be guaranteed getting hold of the right size skirt or top. They are very happy to pick it up instore after buying online. And of course the big pull is the fact that it’s free to do so.”
It’s free and it’s convenient, so it’s massively popular. Ricky will examine more closely how the this click and collect operation has been rolled out across M&S stores, how logistics strategy and IT systems have been put in place to make this happen, and how staff have been trained to give the service a classically M&S personal touch.
What insights can we expect?
In line with the overall stream theme of Practicality at this eDelivery Conference, Ricky will also touch on how click and collect has been helping delight customers by ensuring availability. “We’ve discovered that many of our customers don’t mind waiting a few days to get hold of their favourite size 12 cardigan, for instance, but what they do want is to be served very quickly at the click and collect area. We’ve worked hard to get this right.”
Just how busy collection areas guarantee speedy service will be revealed on the day. With some of the busiest M&S stores dealing with over 1,000 parcels a day at peak time, Wilson’s experiences of managing click and collect on this scale will be fascinating and invaluable for delegates.
What do consider the biggest challenge for multichannel retailers in the coming years?
“Increasingly customers are unwilling to pay for delivery services and this poses a real challenge for retailers,” says Ricky. “Shoppers have come to expect their orders to be delivered fast, and for free but that’s not always sustainable. It puts tremendous pressure on the P&L for retailers. So of course they are searching for ways to make delivery cost effective and we’ll see big changes to make this work. I think this is what makes click and collect particularly attractive to some retailers, because it’s one option for economic sustainability. For M&S.com at least, it’s something customers have fully embraced so it makes total sense for us to invest in making this an efficient, user friendly experience.”
Ricky Wilson, Head of Operations for M&S.com will be speaking on Click and Collect the M&S Way! at the eDelivery Conference, 11 October 2016, taking place at the Novotel, Hammersmith, London
Register to attend the eDelivery Conference here