Article by Ceri Wheeldon
Is it any surprise that M&S have reported another fall in profits?
I was with friends yesterday who once again were bemoaning the fact that M&S still don’t seem to understand what women over 50 want to wear. We all used to be regular shoppers , buying good quality basics – sadly these now seem to be difficult to find.
We all seem to be willing M&S to get things right.
All of the high street have to embrace the online world.
But do M&S also not understand the level of service online shoppers expect either?
How long do we expect the standard delivery time to be when shopping online?
I was given a 20% off M & S friends and family code – so I decided to take advantage and order a few things – nothing terribly exciting – some knickers, socks, and my favourite Joan Collins concealer. That was last Saturday. I have to admit that I didn’t really check how long standard home delivery took. Nothing arrived. Today (Friday), 6 days later I received the following text message:
Thanks for your recent order.
We just wanted to let you know that our team’s started preparing your order and it’ll be on its way to you within the next 2 working days. We’d like to thank you for your patience and we hope you enjoy your item(s).
Don’t forget, you can track your order by logging into your account on our website, marksandspencer.com.
Thanks again for shopping with M&S.
M&S Service Team”
8-10 working days
I have now checked their website – and it seems that standard home delivery is 8-10 working days! Hands up, my fault for not paying more attention. They do not define ‘working days’ but as their stores are open 7 days a week , I can only assume that their 8-10 days is equivalent to calendar days.
Fortunately I am not in a desperate hurry for the items I ordered, but I think M&S are failing to understand the level of service we have come to expect when shopping online.
When a retailer is struggling to attract new customers you would think they would at least try to deliver goods in a timely manner to customers who DO want to buy from them!
There is the option to pay £3.99 delivery for next day, or collect in store the next day, but home shopping has moved on – we are used to faster turnaround. 8-10 working days is far too slow, in my opinion, for standard delivery in today’s online world.
With most other retailers delivering within a couple of days on a standard service, M&S have a lot of ground to catch up on.
House of Fraser offer 3-5 working days as standard- with far more delivery options, John Lewis offer 3-5 working days depending on the size of items as standard , again with more choice of delivery options than M&S.
I will not be ordering from M&S online again. I am not surprised their profits are down! Not only has their merchandise maintained pace with what shoppers want, it seems that their online shopping experience hasn’t either.
Before looking to explain their fall in profits as investment in stores etc, they would do well to look at their basic service delivery – as well as failing to hit the mark with their merchandise! There is army of women over 50 willing them to get things right!