M&S Takes £5,000 Order on Mobile Site

Marks & Spencer has trumped its previous best order value for its mCommerce site, with a £5,156 order for its Sonoma Light freestanding kitchen units, including sink and taps. The customer who bought the goods returned to the site a few days later and bought a matching table worth £400. The previous biggest order on the M&S mobile site was £3,280 for two sofas.

“We don’t know where the journey started, but we do know that it was completed on the mobile web, using an iPhone,” Sienne Veit, head of new technology business development at M&S, told Mobile Marketing. She adds that at the end of April 2011, the retailer had taken 66,000 orders on the site since its launch on 12 May last year.

“The site has completely and utterly beaten all predictions in terms of how many people would shop, what they would buy, and what sort of order value we could expect,” says Veit. “The site has attracted millions of customers, many of them new, and most of them women. It’s not tecchie young males, but mums and even grandmothers buying clothes and shoes.”

Womenswear is the biggest-selling item on the site, while the iPhone is the top device for accessing the site “by a long stretch”, says Veit. She adds that buying patterns on the site reflect those on the web, with peaks at lunchtime and around 9 in the evening, but that orders are placed from early in the morning, as customers wake up and check their phone for the deal of the day and any sale items.

Veit says that M&S is now looking at extending its mCommerce activities. It has deployed NCR in-store kiosks as a proof of concept in a small number of stores, and will be extending the roll-out of these. She adds that apps are “interesting” but that she can’t say any more, and says also that M&S is looking at more in-store activity, but that 3G coverage and the cost of deploying in-store wi-fi are the key challenges for a retailer with such a large store estate.