M&S has launched 46 flagship websites in new markets, instantly expanding its online reach to over 100 countries and enabling millions more customers to purchase M&S products. The launch is part of M&S’ focus to turbocharge its online business under its Never the Same Again transformation programme, and nearly doubles the number of international markets where it has a pureplay online presence.

The international website expansion is the next stage in M&S’ commitment to drive international growth through online channels at pace under its recently established online, digital and data division, MS2. At its most recent Interim Results M&S reported a 75% increase in international e-commerce sales, underlining the recent shift in online customer spend throughout the pandemic, with products like the Sienna Straight Leg Jean topping the bestseller list across multiple different international markets. M&S is focused on maximising the online opportunity and setting itself up better to deliver for customers both in the UK and internationally.

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The launch of 46 new international flagship websites, which offer customers in these markets a broad range of M&S’ everyday style & value Clothing & Home products, gives M&S immediate and cost effective access to new online markets. Insight from its UK focused M&S.com website indicates strong underlying demand from these territories, which the retailer is now able to explore without significant upfront investment.

The expansion has been achieved using a low cost approach which combines an adaptable website platform specifically designed for its international business and customers, with orders from these websites fulfilled through M&S’ established distribution network. This means that ongoing costs mirror customer demand, and by having an adaptable website platform M&S can further increase the localisation of its offer quickly and efficiently in response. M&S’ international online channels are now also available in ten additional languages and a wider range of currencies, and by giving customers a more localised online experience sales increase significantly.

Paul Friston, International Director said:  “Our international business has seen strong online growth since the start of the pandemic as increasing numbers of customers choose to shop through our range of flagship websites. Under our Never the Same Again programme we’re focused on turbocharging our online business both in the UK and internationally, and as part of this we see a real opportunity in extending the number of countries where we run an online channel further.

“Launching in an additional 46 markets means we can now reach a number of new customers who can purchase online with M&S for the first time and receive our fantastic M&S products in a few short clicks, as well as enabling us to explore underlying demand in these markets without significant upfront investment.”