Thursday, 6 September 2012

M&S And Paths to Purchase

Although M&S sells about one in three dresses and one in five of its suits online, school-wear has become one of the company’s most popular smartphone products with families looking to avoid the stressful “back to school” shopping trip.

Question is..was this smartphone helping with a customer pain point by design or just a lucky coincidence?

Understanding the salescycle or as we often refer to it these days Path to Purchase is key to understanding how we can help customers overcome those barriers to purchase.

There are many ways of depicting these journeys or paths, here is one I have come across. Figure 1 taken from an ATG webinar shows the path from Search to Purchase

path to purchase visual resized 600
Figure 1 Search to Purchase

This search to purchase journey depicts a customer journey that involves both the digital aspects of searching and researching a product as well as purchasing . Of course, in reality there is often, as depicted here, a physical element where customers want to view , touch and perhaps get more information by visiting the physical store before buying on-line. I've previously talked about combating this 'showrooming' by possibly encouraging in store purchase with an amazing experience or encouraging on going engagement once out of the store. ( See 'Combating Showrooming ,  Personalisation In-store )

M&S is trying to achieve both of these with some key projects.

Their stores are getting wi-fi that will be free for customers possibly as a way of allowing them to find out more about products as well purchasing from their wider range on line. to aid this QR codes are being used in-store

Figure 2 M&S App Screenshot
And of course their App will aid in this ( see Figure 2)

Also, some store assistants ill be getting iPads to help customers in the same way.
Figure 3 - Contactless Payment

Not forgeting the quick, small purchase ( the M&S .....), they are also adopting faster ways to pay with contactless options - Figure 3

You may have even seen the oversized smartphones in their stores

The one in figure 4 is actually in their store in Paris where customers are again able to purchase from the extended range on line - or even buy while on day trip to Paris and get it delivered back in the UK?
Marks and Spencer pushes its social network presence in its windows and shoppers can order products at the ‘boutique virtuelle’
Figure 4 - Oversized Smartphones in Paris

And of course they are addressing the delivery element by allowing customers to have items delivered to their home or most convenient store. This option incorporating that crucial free delivery tag so many consumers want ( see Amazon Set to Deliver Via Newsagents )

Marks and Spencer data sourced from their 2012 Corporate Report

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