Marks & Spencer (M&S) has posted a surprising 8.1 percent drop in online sales, despite moving to a new website that was supposed to enhance its online sales offerings in February.
M&S chief executive Marc Bolland said in January, when the firm reported strong back-end 2013 online sales, that the move to a new online platform would help it continue this growth.
“Our strategy to transform M&S into an international, multi-channel retailer, will keep on improving our .com service with the launch of our new platform and our new warehouse at full capacity,” he predicted.
But this has not taken effect, with Bolland admitting to problems that have affected sales via the website. “We have seen a continued improvement in clothing, although as anticipated the settling in of the new M&S.com site has had an impact on sales,” he said.
M&S also said that the new platform has proved “technically resilient”, and the firm now plans to do more to push use and customer interest, with a focus on regular updates.
The website launched in February but teething problems affected its initial use, with users complaining of navigation problems and having to re-register to use it.
The failure of M&S to continue its online sales growth comes at a time when most firms are seeing good sales from their websites, thanks to the increased use of smartphones and tablets among consumers who want to buy on-the-go.