International Business News Writer
Leading British retailer, Marks & Spencer (M&S) has expanded its online market to over 100 countries with the launch of 46 new websites. This launch, in countries such as Argentina, South Korea, and Uzbekistan, has doubled the number of overseas markets. The retailers’ new websites offer clothing and home products to overseas markets. Marks & Spencer’s international online expansion is in line with its plan to “turbocharge” its online business. This expansion is part of its wide-scale transformation program titled Never the Same Again, which the company announced last year.
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marks & Spencer’s suffered significant losses due to a decrease in traffic to its stores. According to an article by BBC, Marks & Spencer reported its first loss last year, in the 94 years it has been listed as a public company. The retailer reported total losses of £87.6 million last year, versus a profit of £158.8million that it made in the previous year. Though Marks & Spencer experienced losses across the board, it nevertheless saw a dramatic increase in online sales last year. In its interim report, the company reported a 75% increase in international e-commerce sales compared to its results in the previous year.
Marks & Spencer’s international director, Paul Friston stated: “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.” Marks & Spencer’s launch of 46 new websites comes at an opportune time for it to reach a number of new customers who can purchase online with Marks and Spencer for the first time. Pros come along with being able to receive their fantastic products in a few short clicks.
Marks & Spencer’s expansion has been achieved using an “adaptable website platform designed for its international operations. Orders from the new websites are fulfilled through Marks and Spencer’s established distribution network. The means that ongoing costs mirror customer demand, and having an efficient website platform can further increase the localization of its offer quickly. Furthermore, Marks & Spencer’s new websites have been translated into ten additional languages. Along with opening up its consumer pool, the company also added a wider range of currencies to provide a more localized experience to its international customers.
In addition, the retailers’ latest online expansion in international markets follows a partnership last year with UK online grocer Ocado. This partnership led allowed customers to order M&S food online for home delivery for the first time. This was very significant in a year where people relied on online grocery shopping more than ever before. With these new additions, Marks & Spencer expects to see a revenue increase as they expanded their e-commerce markets.
Contact Chisomo at @Chisomo.Gomonda@student.shu.edu