Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

Blunders : Hazel – a lost customer comments on whether the new M&S site works for her as a customer! It doesn’t

Hazel – a lost customer comments “I’m not interested in the technicalities that make a site useable and excuses for problems – only whether the site works for me as a customer! The new M&S site doesn’t.

I use my iPad and pages on this new site are slow to load, the navigation is laborious and page scrolling is jerky. Since this new site was launched I have not purchased a single item of clothing online -previously I was a regular purchaser. Other retailers’ sites work very well and I use them instead now.

I responded to an M&S feedback enquiry soon after their website launch and received a “we are sorry you are experiencing some problems with our new site…..” email. But I haven’t noticed any improvement in site usability since”.

When the news about Marks and Spencer’s sales results broke a couple of weeks ago it immediately got my attention.

by Kathryn McDonnell

The Chief Executive and other senior figureheads clearly laid the blame of the 8.1% drop in sales and resulting share price dip on the launch of its new website.

The new site comprised a smart redesign coupled with a platform shift from Amazon’s services to its own.

There have been many documented cases of website usability causing a huge impact to revenue (the $300m button being the most famous) so I wondered whether this too was one such example or whether more cynically perhaps, the City had been handed an unfortunate scapegoat.

The answer became all too clear after running tests using whatusersdo. We asked six users to perform some typical tasks on the site, finding two items of clothing, adding them to their basket and going part way through the purchase process. Half the users completed the test on a tablet and half used a desktop.

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