3 Lessons to Learn from the Marks and Spencer’s eCommerce fiasco

Marks and Spencer eCommerce case study

Marks and Spencer eCommerce case study

The British retail giant, Marks and Spencer, experienced a dramatic reduction in the growth of its online sales from +20% to -8.1%. Just half of the 6 million users had re-registered on its new website. Additionally, owing to the lost user data, the user’s experience on the new website was not personalised yet, as in the old website.

Offline vs Marketplaces: brands choose sides in retail war

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Brand Offline vs Online

India’s $500 billion retail sector seems to be in cold sweat due to a much smaller section of online retail.  Despite accounting for less than 1% of the Indian retail market, eCommerce remains by far the fastest growing channel. “Showrooming” – a concept where buyers examine a product offline and ultimately buy online is becoming increasingly popular in the Indian context due to heavy discounts and attractive offers. Moreover, electronics unlike apparel can be bought without touching and feeling as quality is assured by the brand you are buying. Hence, this heavy weight segment has seen a 60% annual online growth in India, a lot of which can be credited to heavy discounts and slashed prices offered by online retailers. However, these are starting to hurt the lifeline of manufacturers – offline retailers.

eCommerce expectations: What women want from online shopping

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Gone are the days when “Window shopping” referred to a kind of shopping done by a consumer who did not want to purchase goods, however browsed around a store only for killing time or marking it for later purchase. I’d prefer window shopping now to be understood as shopping done from windows, the Microsoft version.  Jokes apart, we are in an era where my maid asked my mom to order Dove soap online because that was not available in the local vendor and she is too lazy to go to hypermarkets. That is the amount of evolution online shopping in India has witnessed. As stereotyping goes that word shopping is mostly associated with women, when it boils down to online shopping, the same holds true.

Are beacons the future to improve in-store experience?

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Since the launch of Bluetooth LE based devices aka Beacons, the tiny low energy devices has generated lot of interest amongst the researchers, app developers and merchandisers. When installed in a physical space, the device broadcasts tiny radio signals to smart devices. Smartphones that are in range are able to ‘hear’ these signals and can communicate with the beacon to exchange data and information.

Is Bigger still better? A study of the largest (and loneliest) mall in China  

banner-05 South China mall in Dongguan, sprawling over 7.1 million square feet of space, holds the record for being the largest mall in the world. The optimistic builders dreamed of giving customers the ultimate shopping experience, with over 1500 stores to browse from, numerous eateries and attractions inspired from different corners of the world, such as the Venetian canal or the 85ft Arc de Triomphe replica. The mall wanted to attract customers based on the sheer variety of brands they would offer. However, to the dismay of the developers, the strategy did not go as planned. The mall was about 98% empty for the first few years, which means it just had a few dozen stores occupied in a giant sea of emptiness.