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Marks and Spencer strikes out alone in online marketplace

21 February 2014 - 09:00 by Graham Miller

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This week it was confirmed that the high street retail chain, Marks & Spencer, would no longer be relying on e-commerce giant, Amazon, to handle its platform for shopping online.

This is a major move, which means that M&S will be directly involved in creating online content for its digital outlet, as well as managing all of the underlying nuts and bolts which let people search for items and place their orders.

In order to help it stand out in a crowded marketplace, M&S has hired 17 new staff members to help generate a magazine-style online experience, with many of these fresh acquisitions coming from major print and online outlets.

Company spokesperson, Laura Wade-Gery, said that consumers who have read content posted to a site which offers safe shopping online are 24 per cent more likely to subsequently make a purchase. This is the key motivating factor behind the move away from Amazon and the establishment of an editorial team.

As well as written pieces providing advice on how fashion fans can get in with the latest trends, the site will play host to video content, with clips examining new ranges and styles that M&S will be introducing.

The company is spending almost a million pounds to open a new distribution centre, which should be up and running by June. From this point on, it will also be able to offer a better selection of e-commerce services to customers, such as delivery on the same day as orders are placed.

This means customers will have to wait a few months until the real impact on M&S' online investment is felt. But this move away from Amazon could potentially make it a more unique proposition in the busy British e-commerce market.