Marks and Spencer have started their spring clean early by re-designing and streamlining their website. This week they have released their new website after more than three years of development.
It hasn’t been all smooth sailing. Even the giants in the retail world can’t get it perfect first time. With many people waiting up to 10 minutes to access the page this morning it must have impacted sales figures.
This is a good time to analyse what M&S have changed to try and improve the user experience. The most noticeable change is the navigational options. Gone are the days of the large lists down the left hand side.
Navigation before (left) and now (right)
The text content has been reduced and the layout has become a lot clearer to see and navigate with a curated feel. Product images appear up to 50% bigger than their previous site, available as either cut-outs or on model clothes shots, as well as zoom features, 360-degree and catwalk videos which you may have also spotted appearing in their shop windows. As Marks and Spencer’s Executive Director, Laura Wade-Gery, puts it: “People are buying an image.”
Interestingly M&S has found that 24% of shoppers are more likely to buy from the website if they had viewed editorial content first, which explains why they have focused on developing a new editorial hub.
They have made some big improvements their store finder; the old function was very clunky and tedious. The issue with the old style was it took the customer away from what they were looking at. This distraction may lose customers. The store finder now appears on every page keeping the product in view of the customer at all times.
Store finder before (left) and now (right)
My particular favourite here is the dynamic basket. It makes it a lot quicker and easier to review what you are potentially buying. Once you’ve added an item to the bag, lots of information is included in the view, including details about delivery and returns.
The product pictures are a big help and save you having to decipher the name M&S have formulated. The ‘move to your saved items’ is a clever new feature for shoppers with cold feet and will no doubt provide their marketing team with plenty to work on!
It’s interesting that M&S didn’t opt for a fully responsive site. Instead they have a separate mCommerce site for mobile users. I’d be interested to know your opinion on this tactic.
We’d love to know what you think, so please share your thoughts on Marks and Spencer’s new website below.