John Oswald, Business Design Lead at leading service design consultancy Fjord commented:
“Marks & Spencer’s launch of a digital lab further cements the belief we’ve long held; that retailers will use digital to strike out against their competition. Our mobiles and the increasing connectivity of our world are enabling people to shop in new ways and brands must innovate.
Online is now intrinsic throughout the real world with customers in brick and mortar shops now using smartphones to do price checks, look up reviews, add items to gift registries or even purchase the item from another retailer and have it delivered to their home.
We’re encouraged by the step Marks & Spencer has made and believe that the brands who do not follow suit will soon find digital technology ‘undoing’ their whole notion of commerce which will have serious repercussions throughout the high street.”
Heikki Haldre, founder and chief executive of virtual fitting room Fits.me commented:
“There are thousands of retail innovations on the market, so it’s very difficult for a retailer to know which ones are going to have a positive impact on sales and on their brand. It follows that it’s a difficult decision for retailers to bet significant resources and investment on a particular solution without real evidence from some sort of pilot.
Innovators and solution providers should probably look at what M&S is doing here, and think very carefully about making sure their solution is ‘light’ enough, from an implementation point of view, to be tested quickly and easily by this sort of agile evaluation group. It’s most likely the way forward.”