Marks & Spencer has turbo-charged its online business with the launch of 46 new flagship sites expanding its online reach to over 100 countries.
The international website expansion is the next stage in M&S’ commitment to drive international growth through online channels “at pace” under its recently established online, digital and data division, MS2.
At its most recent Interim Results the high street retailer reported a 75% increase in international e-commerce sales, underlining the recent shift from consumers to online shopping throughout the pandemic. Products like its Sienna Straight Leg jeans topped the bestseller charts in many international markets, it said.
M&S said it had been able to move quickly and at low cost to more than double its online markets in which it now offers “a broad range of M&S’ everyday style & value Clothing & Home products”. The company claims that insight from its UK focused M&S.com website indicates strong underlying demand from these territories, it is “now able to explore without significant upfront investment”.
The expansion has been achieved using a low cost approach, which combines an adaptable website platform, specifically designed for its international business and customers, with orders from these websites fulfilled through M&S’ established distribution network.
This approach means that ongoing costs mirror customer demand, and by having an adaptable website platform M&S can further increase the localisation of its offer quickly and efficiently in response. M&S’ international online channels are now also available in ten additional languages and a wider range of currencies, and this localised experience should drive greater sales, it said.
“Our international business has seen strong online growth since the start of the pandemic as increasing numbers of customers choose to shop through our range of flagship websites. Under our Never the Same Again programme we’re focused on turbocharging our online business both in the UK and internationally, and as part of this we see a real opportunity in extending the number of countries where we run an online channel further.
“Launching in an additional 46 markets means we can now reach a number of new customers who can purchase online with M&S for the first time and receive our fantastic M&S products in a few short clicks, as well as enabling us to explore underlying demand in these markets without significant upfront investment,” M&S international director Paul Friston explained.