Marks & Spencer - Digital Transformation Strategies

Marks & Spencer - Digital Transformation Strategies


This report provides insight into Marks & Spencer's digital activities, including its digital transformation strategies, its innovation programs, its technology initiatives, its estimated ICT budget, and its major ICT contracts.

Marks and Spencer Group plc (M&S) is a retailer of a wide range of apparel, home products, and food items. Its product portfolio consists of womenswear, menswear, kids wear, lingerie, cosmetics, footwear, home furnishings, wine, and food. The company markets its products through a network of own and franchise stores. The company through M&S Bank offers a range of financial services, including current account and savings, credit cards, mortgages and insurance and through M&S Energy provides fully renewable energy services.

In August 2018, M&S teamed up with Decoded, a technology education specialist, to launch a retail data academy. Through the academy, M&S intends to provide more than 1,000 staff members from across all the functions including, store managers, virtual merchandisers, and finance, to develop their digital skills.

Launched in December 2020, M&S’s Data Technician Apprenticeship is a level three data apprenticeship to equip its employees with data and digital capabilities to boost its digital transformation.

Launched in March 2013, M&S’s Digital Labs focuses on accelerating retail technology innovation to strengthen both in-store and online capabilities. The Digital Labs team is involved in testing new technologies, building prototypes and developing new concepts for implementation across its business.

Launched in October 2020, DigiFest is a business-wide event to create awareness and support the growing adoption of data at M&S. During the event, more than 1,000 employees attended the virtual conference, and 70 employees participated in the 24 hour hackathon.

BEAM is a data hub launched by M&S that houses all the necessary tools and programs, such as M&S data catalog required by data practitioners.

Launched in July 2018, Founders Factory Retail is a joint venture between M&S and Founders Factory, a start-up accelerator focused on investing in start-ups with innovative technologies, business models, and entrepreneurial thinking sourced from the Founders Factory network.

FutureDotNow, a coalition of organizations focused on improving the workplace essential digital skills (EDS) in the UK. In March 2021, M&S joined with FutureDotNow to enhance its employees' digital skills and capabilities across the organization, irrespective of their roles.

  • M&S took a strategic decision to migrate workloads to Microsoft Azure-based data platform with Azure Synapse Analytics for analytics, storage, and scalability. Leveraging Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Databricks, and Azure Synapse, M&S’ data scientists are now able to extract and transform data and analyze them by creating dashboards and visualizations..
  • In December 2021, the data science and AI academy for retail and food has been established by Marks & Spencer. In collaboration with education provider Cambridge Spark, the academy will initially train 10 employees in a level 7 data science and AI apprenticeship.
  • M&S is integrating its front-end and back-end workflows across physical and digital channels by deploying the CommerceHub Commerce Suite. With this initiative, the company aims to expand its product assortment, enhance customer engagement and loyalty, and attract new customers.
  • M&S is implementing AI, including computer vision, in over 500 stores to optimize store operations. In 2023, as a part of this strategy, M&S collaborated with SymphonyAI Retail CPG for its Store Intelligence capabilities.
Reasons to Buy
  • Gain insights into Marks & Spencer's tech operations.
  • Gain insights into its digital strategies and innovation initiatives.
  • Gain insights into its technology themes under focus.
  • Gain insights into various product launches, partnerships, and acquisition strategies.

Digital Transformation Strategy
Accelerators, Incubators, and Other Innovation Programs
Technology Focus
Technology Initiatives
Partnership, Investment & Acquisition Network Map
ICT Budget and Contracts
Key Executives
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