M&Co, one of the largest, privately-owned fashion retailers in the UK, has appointed national research agency Explain Market Research to create and manage an online community for the brand to support its plans to enhance customer experience.
Explain Market Research, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, has been awarded the contract as M&Co looks to invest in customer insight to help further understand its customer profiles and to tailor its product offering to meet its customers’ evolving requirements.
The Explain team will engage with M&Co’s target customer profiles, build an annual timeline of shopping behaviors and provide a channel for ongoing feedback around products and buying experiences. The activity will support in building the brand’s online presence and ultimately help to grow their online sales.
M&Co is one of the largest, privately-owned fashion retailers in the UK and has been selling quality clothing for 50 years. M&Co has almost 300 stores nationwide, growing from a small family business of only six shops, and it still considers itself a local brand at its core despite having a network of stores across the UK.
Lauren Sweeney, customer insight manager of M&Co, said “With ever growing customer expectations in retail, it was clear our insight needed to become more agile to keep up with the demands of our business. Opening up a dialogue with customers has allowed us to get closer to our customer and engage with them like never before. Our community is a clear investment towards both our customer first and digital strategies, as our customer now has a seat at every table in our business.
“User experience was paramount for us and Explain’s community platform is well designed and very easy to use. We have an excellent team at Explain that have really got to know our business and will be central in supporting us to achieve both our customer experience and wider, long-term business goals.”
Building on their online community platform which has been established for over ten years and was re-launched in early 2018, the team at Explain has developed bespoke features to further enhance the experience and align the platform more closely with the M&Co brand.
The Explain team develops multiple pieces of new insight content per week, including polls and discussions, both to link in with current campaigns, insight activity for timely feedback and the retailer’s longer term objectives. Since the launch of the online community, Explain has seen high levels of engagement and membership registrations.
Kim Davis, managing director of Explain, said: “Retail is an emerging sector for us and M&Co showed a great interest in our online community which is part of our wider suite of innovative solutions for research and engagement. The sense of community we’re building aligns perfectly with M&Co’s ‘local’ mission, to deliver contemporary products in a compelling store environment, where service and quality are paramount. Our bespoke online community solution will allow us to demonstrate the value of first-hand customer insights within the business in a way that fits with the lifestyles of consumers.
“The retail landscape is constantly evolving and therefore customer insights are key in planning for future developments. Given the complexities of the current market, retailers seem to be investing more in customer feedback to improve the customer journey and drive efficiencies.
“Explain has decades of experience in market research, with each engagement plan being carefully designed by our team to meet the client’s needs.”