Launched back in Oct 2011, www.marksandspencer.fr was our first localised international site. It was launched to coincide with our return to France with our store on Champs Élysées.
At the time M&S did not have a transactional Commerce platform to build on top of as we were still on Amazon and had yet to start building M&S.com on IBM websphere.
We gave ourselves ten months to build a solution based on a mission to create “A fully transactional website, in French with local delivery and payment options with a price file in Euros consistent with the new physical store.”
We selected Demandware as the Commerce Platform. Being a SaaS the infrastructure was included, it was good fit for future country expansion and their templates and cartridges (plug-ins) would take care of most of the heavy engineering.
Of course there would be many other challenges to overcome, not least selecting local contact centre partners, translation workflows and integration with SAP for pricing and financial reporting. But with a strong M&S team and great support from our partners Sapient and Athito we successfully launched on time and on budget.