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Marks & Spencer partners with Doddle for drive-through Click & Collect trial

Tom Bottomley
24 August 2020

Marks & Spencer has partnered with technology platform Doddle to trial a new drive-through Click & Collect service at its Camberley store.

It will allow customers to collect their orders contactless from their vehicles, eliminating two potential queues – one to enter the shop and another at the Click & Collect desk.

As part of its "Never the Same Again" programme, the retailer has also launched new trials for Click & Collect – with in-store contactless collection – at its Hempstead Valley and Longbridge stores, as well as at Camberley.

With a number of customer benefits, both propositions aim to help customers shop with confidence as the coronavirus pandemic continues, with a far more convenient and seamless shopping journey.

Before March, around 70% of online M&S orders were collected in its clothing and food stores, while this fell to a low of 15% when clothing spaces were closed. It has gradually been rising again in recent weeks, and is now back up to around 50%.

With the trend towards digital now accelerated, using Doddle’s innovative technology in this initial three-store trial will help the retailer best understand customer demand.

Neil Phillips, head of digital operations at M&S, said: “Great digital technology in our stores is really important for offering our customers a great experience and for connecting the online and in-store journey.

“These trials with Doddle offer market leading solutions for Click & Collect, a proposition which will only grow over the coming years as the trend towards online shopping continues to accelerate. We’ll be listening to our customers’ feedback.”

In addition to trialling customer-facing changes, M&S is also making important behind the scenes changes to Click & Collect as it becomes a faster and more efficient operation. These include increasing the use of in-store picking and packing for online orders.

M&S now has 239 stores fulfilling online orders, which is 153 more than pre-COVID-19. Initially increased to support M&S’s warehouse and clear stock from stores, the retailer has now realised it has long-term potential to help improve the customer proposition and balance stock between stores and online.

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