Challenge 1: Changing Customer Behaviour

The winning solution will receive a proof of concept with the relevant M&S business area with the potential for full implementation and scalability.

person name

target markets

The technology will initially be used with our UK-based customers with the potential for wider rollout depending on solution fit. Our expected target markets are prospective M&S customers; younger, sustainability-driven consumers; existing and new Sparks loyalty members.


M&S is looking for technological innovations to drive better engagement with customers, help them make more sustainable choices, and change the perception of the M&S brand.


As a business that has been around for 137 years, we know how important it is to look to the future. M&S has been built on a belief that caring about our impact on tomorrow’s world as well as today’s is not just good citizenship, it’s good business. Our mission to become a net-zero business across Scope 1, 2 and 3 by 2040 is part of a wider Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) commitment we made because we understand the responsibility we have to create positive change for the customers and communities we serve. We know that sustainability is an important topic for our customers too, but it isn’t always easy for them to understand how the decisions they make affect the environment. As a retailer, we want to take responsibility for not only understanding and reducing our carbon footprint but helping our customers reduce theirs.

The Opportunity

We have identified three opportunity areas where we’d like to leverage innovative, technology-based solutions to engage our customers and support them to make more sustainable choices. These are:

Making more sustainable product purchasing choices

We want to be radically transparent with our sustainability data whether this is through carbon labelling, data visualization/ storytelling from our supply chain, or another creative way. The process needs to require limited to no human interaction to maintain from an in-house perspective and all content must be optimized for mobile usage on the customer side.

Taking more sustainable actions and behaviours

We’d like to make it easy for customer to build environmentally friendly habits into their lives and so we’re looking for new sustainability initiatives that will help us to do this. These could be anything from single-use plastic collection in store, increasing clothes recycling, ‘fill your own’ etc.

Rewarding and incentivizing choices and behaviours

In addition to making it easy, we’d also like to make it fun for customers to change their habits. We’re interested in exploring gamification, nudging, personal benefits, feedback loops, and more to make people feel part of ‘tribes for change’.

Ultimately M&S wants to help customers live more sustainable lifestyles and as a retailer (that provides products across fashion, food, finance, and energy), M&S is well positioned to help influence this.

Key Considerations:

• What would a proof of concept look like? (e.g. duration and cost)

• Scalability across UK is required, globally is desired

• Please describe pricing methodology or structure (licence, subscription, resource, etc.)

• Do you offer additional components that incur additional cost? Please list all components whether they are relevant to our project or not.

• Are there maintenance and support fees associated with your tool/solution?

• Are you working with any other retailers? If so, what success metrics have you driven for them?

• What is your USP?

innovation challenge application

Before applying please take a look at our Application Help.

The closing date for applications is NaNth Invalid Date NaN at 11:59pm.

To revise an existing submission please contact

Upload PDF filePlease upload a file to proceed *