// M&S to roll out new digital click-and-collect model and accelerated customer returns process
// Digital Check-In & Self-Service Returns to roll out to 78 stores this year. Currently being trialled at 22 stores
// M&S also launching new, mobile-friendly customer returns journey, cutting average returns time by 60%
Marks & Spencer has announced the rollout of an improved digital click-and-collect and returns journey in-store, making the customer experience easier and more efficient.
Launching in 78 stores this year, the rollout includes a new self-service digital click-and-collect and returns facility, alongside the launch of a new mobile-friendly paperless returns process.
The new digital options are part of M&S’s focus on maximising its omnichannel advantage to drive sales across both its stores and online channels.
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Currently on trial at 22 stores, M&S said the new digital click-and-collect option has already been popular and the rollout would increase the new format’s footprint to a total of 78 stores ahead of Christmas.
The new model replaces the traditional manned collection desks that typically have queues during busy periods, meaning customers can process their collections or returns straightaway using the self-serve digital screens.
Alongside the new self service returns launch, M&S said it was making improvements to its existing returns processes.
Its new mobile-friendly customer returns journey allows customers to select their preferred route for returning any items purchased on the M&S.com platform – including clothing from its 21 guest brands.
The retailer said the portal was created using direct customer feedback and is part of a new process which removes previous customer “pain points” within the shopping journey – such as the need to visit third party courier websites, use a printer, and find the right paper summaries among orders.
M&S said the new strategy reduces the average time spent preparing returns by 60 per cent.
The high street stalwart has also committed to offering 100 per cent paperless deliveries, which will save 205 tonnes of paper every year and is part of M&S’s wider approach to sustainable shopping.
“Customers are looking for quick and convenient solutions like the option to click-and-collect on their terms when they want – which is now the number one choice for orders on M&S.com,” M&S head of digital retail Steve Kemp said.
“At M&S we’re building a seamless omnichannel network so that customers can shop however they choose with us, and with the rollout of new digital click-and-collect and returns we’re making it even faster, meaning it’s never been easier to shop our range of fantastic products.”
The news comes shortly after it was revealed that M&S was planning to introduce a same-day delivery service for clothing orders as it boosts its online capabilities.
M&S said it would be the first major retailer with a bricks-and-mortar estate to offer rapid fulfilment of clothing orders, making it faster than the likes of Next and online-only giant Asos.