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M&S Website “Settling In” Blamed for Poor Sales

M&S released its latest trading update this morning and blamed the poor sales mainly on the website moving to a new platform.

Let’s just remind ourselves that they spent £150m on the new website.

“Marks and Spencer has reported a big drop in online sales after its move to a new website platform hit trading. Sales at M&S.com were down 8.1% in the 13 weeks to 28 June, with M&S chief Marc Bolland admitting the new site had an impact on sales.

Mr Bolland blamed teething problems with the website for the fall in sales. The latest results mark the 12th quarter in a row that sales at M&S’s homeware and clothing division have fallen” Source: BBC

Other sites also reported the news this morning:

“General merchandise sales were impacted by the ‘settling in’ of a new .com website, with online sales falling 8.1%. The business is now focused on optimising the website commercially.”

Shouldn’t optimising be done during and continuously after a launch? Which incumbent agency does this?

What’s interesting is the auto-suggests provided by Google:

m&s website problems

By looking at what Google is suggesting the developers and the agency should’ve had a fair idea on what the sentiment was like for the new website right?

What about the in-house marketing team?

Google related searches also suggests problems:

google auto suggest m&s website problems

It seems as though these problems were being encountered way back in March. Read this forum on Money Saving Expert website.

Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 10.28.32

Also some comments this morning via journalists and influential retail analysts:

And some responses:

And some people now giving feedback:

So where has it all gone wrong?

Since publishing this post this morning I have had some positive comments, especially by Dan Barker:

Is it the usability? Is it the magazine type design putting people off? Was it the user experience? Too difficult to navigate and checkout?

Can these factors really cause a 8.1% drop in sales? Could it have been a lot worse?

Somebody at some point (e-commerce manager, analytics folk) will have noticed the fall in sales/revenue from the site since launch.

Wonder what changes had been made to improve conversion rates?

I’ll pass this one over the UX and UI experts who will probably follow this one up with a few posts on Econsultancy maybe?

Digital Marketing Consultant (Freelance) specialising in the Construction sector. I help marketing departments set objectives, discover goals, set KPI's, plan and develop campaigns to exceed set objectives. I also provide training on Digital Marketing Strategy Planning and Google Analytics.

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