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M&Co opens dialogue with customers via new agency partnership

UK apparel retailer M&Co is taking a fresh approach to gathering customer insights after securing a partnership with Explain Market Research.

The collaboration will involve the market research agency creating and managing an online community for M&Co, and the findings will support the retailer’s plans to make continual improvements to its proposition that enhance the customer experience.

By engaging with M&Co’s target customer profiles, Explain Market Research will build an annual timeline of shopping behaviours and provide a channel for ongoing feedback around products and buying experiences. Ultimately, the retailer hopes the move will lead to an increase in online sales.

Lauren Sweeney, customer insight manager at M&Co, commented: “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.”

She added: “User experience was paramount for us and Explain’s community platform is well designed and very easy to use.”

Explain Market Research launched its online community platform over ten years ago but it was relaunched with fresh features earlier in 2018. The market research team develops multiple pieces of new insight content per week, including polls and discussions, which are linked to its retail partners’ current campaigns or long-term objectives.

Kim Davis, managing director of Explain, said: “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.”

Many retailers are introducing new software or forging new partnerships to better monitor or understand their customers, and to keep pace with changing consumer behaviour.

Furniture retailer Ikea announced last month that it has embarked on a new customer insights project alongside ContentSquare, with the vendor’s software allowing the Swedish flatpack product purveyor an opportunity to instantly see customer journeys on its site, and analyse web performance in near real time.

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