M&S is trialling a drive-through order collection service at its store in Camberley, Surrey.
The branch has added drive-up collection whereby customers can pick up their orders without leaving their car.
This comes alongside a contactless click and collect service being introduced at its Longbridge, Birmingham; Hempstead Valley, Kent and Camberley branches.
The retailer is piloting the schemes as an extension of its click and collect offer, and as part of its Never the Same Again programme to step up its digital capabilities and make its store estate fit for the future.
The initiative has been introduced in partnership with Doddle, which also enables M&S.com returns at 280 Simply Food stores.
M&S is also making operational changes to speed up its online order process. It is increasing the use of in-store picking and packing for online orders and now has 239 stores fulfilling online orders, which is 153 more than before the coronavirus outbreak, and means “thousands” of orders are put together in a customer’s local store.
Around 70% of the retailer’s online orders were picked up in Clothing and Food stores before March this year. This dropped to 15% when its clothes stores shut during lockdown, but is now up to around 50%.
The trials will help M&S understand shopper demand for the services through the feedback and data it gathers.
The retailer said both new propositions were “ideal for helping customers shop with confidence during this unprecedented time and they offer a far more convenient and seamless journey”.
“Great digital technology in our stores is really important for offering our customers a great experience and for connecting the online and in-store journey,” said Neil Phillips, head of digital operations at M&S. “These trials with Doddle offer market-leading solutions for click and collect, a proposition which will only grow over the coming years as the trend towards online shopping continues to accelerate. We’ll be listening carefully to our customers’ feedback.”
Gary O’Connor, chief technology officer at Doddle, added: “We are delighted to be working with M&S to trial new click and collect technology in selected stores. Online shopping has rapidly accelerated, and we’re confident that our digital in-store collections and drive-up solution will benefit M&S and their customers, with an even more convenient way to receive their purchases.”
Waitrose implemented a drive-through collection service at 70 stores earlier this month.