Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 32


UKUK Top5002017
Top500 2016
UKs top
top ecommerce
ecommerce andand cross-channel
multichannel retailers
InternetRetailings third annual report


We combine integrated technologies, professional Through our consulting, technology, operations,
services, and a worldwide network of systems and and digital agency capabilities we provide uniquely
logistics infrastructure to deliver global eCommerce branded shopping experiences to our clients,
solutions for leading retailers and brands. creating Commerce Without Compromise.

Operations Agency Technology Consulting

Reduce fraud, maximize Keep customers aware, Reduce complexity and risk We create the solutions,
fulfillment scalability, and engaged, and buying with without compromising strategies, roadmaps, and
exceed your customers the world-class capabilities quality and brand align- essential frameworks
expectations with PFSs and boutique approach of ment as you launch or necessary to meet specific
flexible operations and our in-house digital re-platform your commerce goals, guiding
customer care capabilities. experience agency, eCommerce site. clients through the
LiveArea. execution of these plans.

BE +32 4 364 41 11 www.pfsweb.com

UK +44 (0) 20 3475 4000
IRUK Top500

Meet the team... IRUK Top500 January 2017
Ian Jindal
Publisher, speaker,
04 What constitutes a retailer?
advisor and NED, Ian
leads our editorial and 06 Introduction to the IRUK Top500
research businesses.
09 Sponsor comment: reinvent commerce
Jonathan Wright
Editor 10 The InternetRetailing UK Top500
Jonathan is an editor
and writer who has
written extensively
12 Strategy & Innovation: speed and efficiency
about digital business and culture.
jonathan@internetretailing.net 14 The Customer: put the consumer first
Chloe Rigby
16 Operations & Logistics: deliver on expectations
Chloe is the editor of
InternetRetailing.net 18 Merchandising: showcase products to best effect
and an award-winning
business journalist. 20 Brand Engagement: channels of communication

Martin Shaw 22 Mobile & Cross-channel: help shoppers buy

Senior Researcher
Martin devises 24 Supermarkets: food for thought
the scope and
methods of
InternetRetailings research as
25 Food delivery services: grub on the go
head of the research team.
martin@internetretailing.net 26 The InternetRetailing Brand Index

27 The IREU Top500

28 Ongoing research

30 Knowledge Partners

31 Conclusion

4 Rese arch param eters

What constitutes
a retailer?
THE MULTICHANNEL RETAIL landscape is Companies excluded from the
more complex than merely having a website or IRUK 500 2017
operating a store. In choosing which companies M a r k et pl a ces: where a candidate retailer
to include in the IRUK Top500 2017, we have is simply a marketplace, the company is not
considered companies intent, capabilities featured. Where a marketplace undertakes
and activities around the recruitment and customer acquisition, manages payment,
monetisation of customers. The definition for customises offers and recommendations and
inclusion in our research is: offers recourse on purchases, then the company
will be eligible for inclusion.
D est i n a t i on : the retailer has created a
destination that, in the minds of customers, is a Pure transaction/tariffs: where ecommerce
source of product, service or experience. Whether is ancillary to the primary purpose of a business,
this is a shop, a site, a place, a time or an event, we will not necessarily include them. Online
its the sense of locus that counts. payment for gas or electricity is excluded since
the business purpose is energy supply. Likewise
P u r pose: the retailer has created goods and/ the ost ce s postal revenues are excluded,
or services for the purpose of selling, for whereas the companys retail store activities are
consumption by the purchasing consumer. within scope.

M er ch a n d i si n g : the retailer actively sells and B u si n ess- t o- bu si n ess a n d d i r ect - sel l i n g

is not just a portal for taking customers money. br a n d s: while the scope of retail is normally
This means the selection, promotion and tailoring direct to consumer, two trends are challenging
of retail offers for customers. this: the move for brands and previously solely
B2B businesses to sell direct to consumers; and
A cq u i si t i on : the retailer actively markets, the increasingly retail-like behaviour of B2B
recruits and attracts customers with a promise brands, in terms of acquisition, promotion,
or proposition to the destination. personalisation and service. We have therefore
included certain B2B businesses and direct-
S a l e: the retailer takes the customers money. selling brands. See page 26 for a summary
The retailer owns the transaction as the merchant of the InternetRetailing Brand Index 2017, a
of record. comprehensive retail analysis of direct-selling
brands in Europe.
R ecou r se: the retailer is responsible for the
service, fulfilment and customer satisfaction
owing from the sale.

E x cept i on : in every good list theres an

exception, where we may include businesses
within IRDX (our dynamic list of multichannel
and ecommerce companies, suppliers and key
personnel because of their influence upon
retailers and retailers customers. However,
these companies will not be ranked within the
IRUK 500 2017.

Rese arch param eters
The elements included in each Dimension are
summarised below:

0. Footprint Dimension 4. Merchandising

0.1 UK retail turnover, ranging from 2m to 4.1 Customer-perspective website review,
43bn average 629m including 23 metrics covering design,
0.2 The ecommerce subset of the above, ranging navigation, the relevance of search results,
from 500,000 to 6.1bn average 75m product information and visual appeal
. web tra c, ranging from , to 4.2 Mobile app assessment, including nine
15.8bn page views per annum average metrics covering use of notifications,
126m views per annum product display, and personalisation
0.4 Number of UK stores, ranging from [retailers with mobile apps]
0 to 11,500 average 131 stores 4.3 Merchandising and product review, including
number and depth of promotions, the
1. Strategy & Innovation fraction of a retailers range with reviews
1.1 Strategic practice, including an expert- and descriptions, the number of images per
designated selection of metrics that catalogue product, and the fraction of range that is out
a retailers embrace of technological or of stock [largest IRUK retailers]
organisational best practice
1.2 Innovative practice, including a selection of 5. Brand Engagement
metrics from other Dimensions that, to date, 5.1 Search assessment including total applicable
are only used by the leaders keywords, total reach, share of search
compared to other retailers, and relative
2. The Customer visibility in search results
2.1 Desktop and mobile homepage performance, 5.2 Social media presence and availability,
including engineering and responsiveness including 22 metrics, taking into account size
speed index, time to first byte, time to visual of audience and interaction with it on Twitter,
completion, use of third-party tags, etc the net change over three months, and use of
2.2 Customer service response time and 10 social networks, email, and blog
helpfulness Facebook, email and phone 5.3 Facebook assessment, including 13 metrics,
2.3 Number of socially active customers and covering the total number of people talking
their interaction levels about the brand, the frequency of posts, and
. ebsite navigation the ease of finding interaction with recent posts
a desired product, including tabs, icons, 5.4 Website review assessing the integration of
search and filtering social media, sharing, and social validation
2.5 Customer feedback incorporation of 5.5 Mobile app assessing the incorporation of
customer reviews and product ratings on social media, sharing, and social validation
the product display page [retailers with mobile apps]
2.6 Mobile app incorporation of customer 5.6 Email assessment, tracking hundreds of
reviews and product ratings [retailers with thousands of emails to panellists, assessing
mobile apps] content, volume and interaction open rate,
delete rate, etc [largest IRUK retailers]
3. Operations & Logistics
3.1 Delivery, including 10 metrics covering the 6. Mobile & Cross-channel
range of options, and competitiveness of 6.1 Mobile home page performance, including
timeframes and pricing engineering and responsiveness speed
3.2 Returns, including 10 metrics covering the index, time to first byte, time to visual
ease of the returns and refund process to the completion, etc
customer, and the range of options, including 6.2 Mobile app, including 24 metrics,
return to store measuring the usability and functionality
3.3 Collection a summary of collection of apps and weighting features according
points offered by retailers, including own to their impact on average order value (AOV),
stores, transport location, lockers, and time spent on app, and conversion rate
third-party stores 6.3 Cross-channel, taking into account use of
3.4 Mobile app stock check features physical store estate for order fulfilment and
[retailers with mobile apps] return, store information on the website,
in-store functions of apps, and cross-channel
loyalty accounts [retailers with UK stores]

6 From the Editor-in-Chief

Were delighted to bring you the InternetRetailing UK
Top500 2017 report. For the third year, our research team
has looked in depth at the UKs leading ecommerce and
multichannel retailers, comparing and contrasting the
capabilities of these top-flight traders to see where and
how the best retailers excel.

Our Index takes an analytical approach that ranges across

six Performance Dimensions and isnt limited to a pure
ranking of companies by ecommerce revenues, web
traffic or any other single metric. By doing this, we aim to
understand and learn from high-performing retailers what
best practice is in this highly competitive market, and how
it can best be fostered and encouraged in other businesses
across the industry. This combined capability is what we
call RetailCraft and constitutes a striving for excellence,
at scale, thats responsive to the customer.

F rom th e E d itor- in- C h ief

Our metrics Judgment

Our research covered seven Performance All judges and judgment systems are fallible
Dimensions (see page 5 for more details): and our research is no different in that regard.
But from the starting point of the IRUK Top500
0 . F oot pr i n t : UK retail turnover, ecommerce , we have refined and developed our research
turnover, web reach and store estate of retail methods and metrics ever since criteria that
businesses gives the heft and a preliminary rank. were differentiators last year are no longer, as
We then modify and weight that analysis through such innovations have become the mainstream.
consideration of the following Dimensions:
1 . S t r a t eg y & I n n ov a t i on : the extent to which Knowledge partners
the retailer is adapting for growth, international We could not have done this research without
commerce and customer responsiveness the generous advice and practical help of our
2 . T h e C u st omer : measuring the experience Knowledge Partners. We thank SimilarWeb,
from the customers point of view whose web insights platform rendered the data
3 . O per a t i on s & L og i st i cs: delivery, returns for web tra c ne ydra, which analysed
and collections search data to find how visible each retailer
4 . M er ch a n d i si n g : displaying and describing was compared to competitors and rand iew,
products, and providing e cient site navigation which reviewed the sophistication of retailers
5 . B r a n d E n g a g emen t : making their brands merchandising techniques as part of the stand-
familiar to the customer, and connecting alone Product and Merchandising Tracker.
6 . M obi l e & C r oss- ch a n n el : beyond single BuiltWith gave us a detailed breakdown of the
ecommerce or store channels ecommerce technologies used for each Top500
website. Looking at email strategies, Return Path
Performance clusters analysed a huge number of emails sent by Top500
Weve ranked the UK Top500 in statistically retailers, and the open rates and interaction
similar groups. these engendered. Clarabridge analysed the
Elite retailers have performed at an exceptional social media and brand sentiment of the Top
level across all Dimensions, statistically and itwise showed the importance of search
separate from the subsequent clusters. The six as a source of new customers for each website.
in this group in 2017 are Amazon, Asda, Boots, NCC Group contributed analysis of load times
John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Tesco. Our and performance for the mobile and desktop
congratulations to the three new retailers in this landing pages of the Top hostery identified
cluster, and to Amazon, Boots and John Lewis the number of third-party tags a website was
for retaining their positions at the top of UK using and oq researched the retail app market,
multichannel retail. providing a unique dataset on how app features
Leading companies are by most measures affect conversion, browsing time and average
out in front, and combine both size and order value.
capability. Top50 retailers bring us to the While we thank them all for their knowledge
50-retailer point and represent the current state and hard work, it is the enthusiasm, the spirit
of RetailCraft in the UK. Taken as a group, the of partnership and flexibility shown in working
strengths and capabilities of the UK industry can with us that has been most gratifying. We look
be seen in this cohort. forward to sharing more of their exceptional work
Throughout 2017, we will be continuing our throughout 2017.
testing and measurement of the whole group.
Standout performance and improvements in each Top retailers
Dimension will be published monthly at least, Congratulations once more to the
and contribute to the 2018 ranking. InternetRetailing Elite retailers for 2017:
Amazon, Asda, Boots, John Lewis, Marks
& Spencer and Tesco.

I an J ind al E d itor- in- C hief I nternetR etailing

The most extensive
analysis on
Europes Top500

IREU Report: published

Plus Six Annual Reports:

Brand Engagement: published

Mobile & Cross-channel: published
Merchandising: March 2017
Strategy & Innovation: March 2017
Operations & Logistics: May 2017
The Customer: May 2017

The InternetRetailing Europe Top500 (IREU 500)

is the first Europe-wide retail performance index,
gauging and comparing best practice across the
trading blocs 500 most significant retailers.

The Top500 blends quantitative data and qualitative

assessment to create the most important and
thought-provoking index of its kind. The reports
provide case studies, best practice and suggested
approaches, emerging trends and interviews.

Register at internetretailing.net/ireu to
receive the latest reports direct to your inbox
Register for details
S ponsF oeatu
r corem nam
m ent

Reinventing commerce
through a digital lens to serve
the empowered customer
Perrine Masset, Digital Agency Services Senior
Manager at LiveArea, the in-house PFS Agency,
considers the retail challenge of 2017

TODAYS DYNAMIC DIGITAL consumers expect profit. The brands that have taken the lead in this
their experience to automatically adapt to their digitally-enabled commerce space are reinventing
daily lives whenever they engage with a brand, themselves every two to three years. Adopting an
whether that engagement is physical, digital or agile test-and-learn methodology allows them to
emotional. The constant mobile device usage is quickly respond to their customers ever-changing
already an ingrained behaviour and customers behaviour and to maintain their advantageous
are showing a growing appetite for artificial business position.
intelligence and enhanced/virtual reality. As well Opportunities are currently great for retailers
as being technology-savvy and demanding more but you have to play to win. Investing in
control over their data collection, customers are innovation and thinking creatively about the
also looking for a hyper-personalised experience customer journey will be the key for long-term
that connects them emotionally with the brand. success. Today s consumers expect flawless
Retailers need to respond to their customers experiences and will only be more demanding in
ever-changing expectations by rethinking the the future. Headless commerce puts the product
way they do business online and across other in the context of real life and encourages brands
sales channels, forcing them to fill the technology to connect with customers on a more personal
gap. The most influential retailers are those who level. Retailers who can quickly adopt these
lead the way in creating more engaged customer concepts will benefit from stronger engagements
experiences. Moving from the traditional from their customers, building brand advocates
experience of ecommerce from product page and improving profitability in the long term.
to basket page these leading retailers are
intensively trying to understand their customers
journeys and are adapting to their needs by
building disruptive and sticky experiences.
Finding the perfect balance between
personalisation, automation, contextualisation
About PFS
and innovation will be todays challenge for As a leading global ecommerce solutions
retailers. Headless commerce builds meaningful provider, PFSweb enables brand and specialty
and relevant shopping experiences embedded retailers to achieve their commerce goals.
into the overall digital journey. It allows, for We combine consulting, agency, technology
instance, customers to buy from a banner while and operations to deliver unique, branded
browsing online and this might be the way to customer experiences, creating Commerce
respond to ever-evolving customer expectations. Without Compromise.
It also underlines the need for investment made www.pfsweb.com
with an eye on long-term, rather than short-term

10 Th e IRUK 500

he full rundown of the IRUK 500, 0 ,

as measured across six Dimensions:
trateg Innovation, he ustomer,
perations ogistics, erchandising, rand
Engagement and Mobile & Cross-channel
Share your thoughts on #IRUK500 with @etail


Ao.com Debenhams New Look Screwx
Argos Halfords Next Superdrug
Asos Holland & Barrett PC World Topshop
Clarks House of Fraser Sainsburys Waitrose
Currys Mothercare Schuh

American Golf Early Learning Matalan Very
B&Q Centre Ocado Waterstones
Blue Inc eBay Oce White Stu
Carphone Footasylum Pets at Home WHSmith
Warehouse The Fragrance Shop Selfridges Wiggle
Claires Homebase SportsDirect.com Wilko.com
Dorothy Perkins JD Sports Topman

Ann Summers F&F Littlewoods Ryman
Apple Freemans.com M&Co Shoe Zone
Bathstore Game MajesticWine Superdry
Blacks Getthelabel.com Mamas & Papas TK Maxx
Bonmarch Go Outdoors Maplin Electronics Topps Tiles
Brantano H&M Millets o s Us
Cotton Traders H.Samuel Miss Selfridge Wallis
Decathlon Hobbs London Monsoon Wex Photographic
Dune London Hotel Chocolat Morrisons Wickes
Dunelm Kaleidoscope Moss Bros. Yours Womenswear
Ebuyer.com LOccitane Quiz Zalando
Evans Lakeland Richer Sounds
Evans Cycles Laura Ashley River Island

Th e IRUK 500

Accessorize Este Lauder Lloyds Pharmacy Simply Be
Adidas Fat Face Lush Smyths
Beaverbrooks French Connection Mr Porter Space.NK
Boden Gear4music.com Net-A-Porter Surfdome
The Body Shop Harrods Nike T.M. Lewin
Boohoo.com Hobbycraft NotOnTheHighStreet.com Thorntons
Burton IKEA Pandora Toolstation
Chain Reaction Cycles Inter ora Peacocks Ur an uttters
Cotswold Outdoor Jack Wills The Perfume Shop U
Crew Clothing Company Jessops Post ce hop The Works
Disney Store Jigsaw PrettyLittleThing Zara
The Entertainer JoJo Maman Bb Reiss
Ernest Jones Joules Samsung

Agent Provocateur Figleaves.com Liberty Reebok
Andertons Music Firebox Long Tall Sally Robert Dyas
Appliances Direct Foot Locker Lovehoney Route One
Axminster orever MAC Cosmetics Sally
BonPrix Fragrance Direct Machine Mart size?
The Book People GAP MandM Direct Slaters
Bose George at Asda MatchesFashion.com Sole
Boux Avenue Goldsmiths MenKind Specsavers
CarpetRight Grattan Missguided Staples
Cass Art Harvey Nichols Mobile Fun Sweaty Betty
Cath Kidston Home Bargains Molton Brown Ted Baker
Charles Tyrwhitt Home Essentials Mountain Warehouse Trainline
Coast Hotter Myprotein Uni lo
Countrywide Jacamo Naked Wines Victorias Secret
CycleSurgery Jacques Vert Nisbets Victorian Plumbing
Dabs.com Jaeger Novatech Viking
Dell JD Williams Oasis Warehouse
DFS Joe Browns Oliver Bonas Watch Shop
EAST Jones Bootmaker The Outnet Wayfair.co.uk
The Edinburgh Woollen Mill Karen Millen Paperchase The White Company
Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports Kiddicare Paul Smith Whittard of Chelsea
Esprit Kitbag.com Pavers Yankee Candle
Euro Car Parts Kurt Geiger Pull & Bear
F.Hinds La Redoute QVC
Fashion World Laithwaites Radley
Feelunique.com Laptops Direct Ralph Lauren

Abercrombie & Fitch Card Factory Fortnum & Mason Ideal World Phase Eight Thomas Pink
Aldo Charles Clinkard funkypigeon.com Just Eat Photobox Thompson & Morgan
AllSaints Chemist Direct Furniture Village L.K.Bennett Plumbase ian o
Anthropologie Clas Ohlson Games Workshop Lands End Pret A Manger Trespass
Arco Cloggs GettingPersonal.co.uk Lego Printing.com Tripp
Aria Technology Costco Google Play Links of London Puma TTS Group
Avon Crocs Gucci Lipsy The Range Ugg ustralia
bareMinerals Deichmann Guitarguitar Louis Vuitton Rapha Vans
Bensons for Beds Dr. Martens Hawes & Curtis Mango Rohan Virgin Wines
Berry Bros. & Rudd Dreams Heals Microsoft RS Components Weldricks Pharmacy
Blackwells Dyson High & Mighty Mint Velvet Russell & Bromley Whistles
Bondara Euronics hmv.com Misco ScS WorldStores
Bravissimo ver thing5pounds com Hollister Moonpig Snow+Rock Wynsors World of Shoes
Burberry Farfetch HP Mulberry SportsShoes.com YOOX.com
Buyagift Find Me A Gift Hughes Electrical The North Face Sunglass Hut Zooplus
alendar lu UK Fitness Superstore Hugo Boss Orvis Swarovski
Calumet Photographic Forbidden Planet Iceland verclockers UK Tate Shop

Abel & Cole Cartier Finlux Hi-Tec Sports Max Spielmann Swatch
Achica CCL Computers Fired Earth Hornby Merlin Cycles Thomann
Aldi Character Fitbit The Hut Moda in Pelle Thomas Sabo
Alexandra Chums FitFlop Intersport Mole Valley Farmers Timpson
Armani The Co-operative Flannels itsu Montblanc TJ Hughes
Art.co.uk Electrical Fossil IWOOT Multiyork Furniture Toast
Asics COS Fraser Hart J Crew Nespresso omm ilger
Aspinal of London Crabtree & Evelyn Fred Perry Jack & Jones Notcutts Nurseries TomTom
Asus Craghoppers Free People Jewson Outdoor & Country Toolstop
ATS Euromaster Create and Craft G-Star Raw Jimmy Choo Plumbworld Ur an Industr
Banana Republic Cromwell Gabor JML Poetry Fashion Vax
Barbour Damart GAK John Smiths Prada Vente-Privee
Barker & Stonehouse Denby Gant Joy Pretty Green Vistaprint
BBC Shop Diesel Garmin Juno Records Pro-Direct Vivienne Westwood
Belkin DJI Glasses Direct Krcher Protyre Wagamama
Berghaus DKNY Graham & Greene Kenzo QD Stores Warren James
Bershka Dobbies Garden Centres Graze Kiehls Rapid Electronics Watches of Switzerland
Betterware Dulux Decorator Centres Guess Lacoste Regatta Outdoor Wedgwood
Bettys Dunnes Stores Habitat Leisure Lakes Bikes Clothing Wyevale Garden Centres
BookDepository.com EAT. Hackett Lenovo Roman Originals YumiDirect
Bradfords Ecco Hallmark LightInTheBox Rowlands Pharmacy Zavvi
BrandAlley END. Hamleys Logitech SecretSales Zulily
Brandon Hire eSpares Harper Collins LookFantastic See Tickets & Other Stories
Build-A-Bear Workshop uro ce Harveys Lyle & Scott Sevenoaks Sound and
Calvin Klein Expansys Hawkins Bazaar Made.com Vision
Camper Farrow & Ball Hawkshead Country Wear Massimo Dutti uper

12 S trategy & Innov ation

Speedy and efficient

customer service
ur research highlights new and eective wa s of putting the consumer rst

TRADERS STOOD OUT in the IRUK Top500 How the Top500 performed
Strategy & Innovation Performance Dimension Top retailers offered an average of five .
when they put the customer experience first, communication channels to their customers.
investing in services and technologies that deliver hen researchers contacted Top retailers
a fast and e cient shopping ourney. with an email query, they received a response
InternetRetailing researchers tested the in a median time of h, while a small number
performance of Top500 retailers against metrics of slow to respond retailers took the average
that demonstrate business innovation and time to ust under h . h . esearchers on
strategic planning. or , these strategic average rated those responses at three out of four
measures are those that deliver around the for effectiveness in resolving the query. hen
speed and e ciency of retailers performance researchers submitted a customer query over
and customer service. They include different acebook, they found a faster median response
metrics, which range from how fast and e ciently time, at ust under half an hour. ut the average
web pages loaded, to how quickly and effectively response time was much lower, at almost h
retailers responded to customer service questions or ust over two days . days , which showed
posed by phone, email and other channels. that while a ma ority of retailers responded
Researchers also tested particularly innovative via the social network faster than the traditional
strategies in areas that are covered in more depth mode of email, a minority were much slower on
within this report. They drew on their research acebook than they are via email. This suggests
in merchandising, mobile, delivery, collection, that some retailers are using a siloed approach
returns and customer engagement to assess the to customer service.
tools, technologies and services that retailers The average Top retailer offered between
employ as they enable shoppers to use websites two and three delivery options . . ext day
quickly and easily. delivery, offered by of the Top retailers,
ocial media engagement via Twitter, as was the most popular premium option. That was
measured in nternet etailing s Tweetailer index, followed by aturday delivery, offered by
also formed part of the assessment. retailers, nominated day delivery retailers ,
t takes true strategic planning to achieve and unday delivery . ame day delivery
a service that really meets customers needs, and nominated time were far less
says nternet etailing s head of research, widely available, suggesting that these are not yet
artin haw. n this trategy nnovation important or sought after forms of delivery.
erformance imension, we ve aimed to measure etailers were more likely to deliver next day
how far retailers go in giving their customers the than to offer collection, currently a service offered
tools they need in order to buy from them. e ve by of the Top . ome of the Top
also looked at whether, and how, they use new or enabled shoppers to return their online purchases
innovative approaches and technologies in order to the store, while refunds were processed in an
to boost their effectiveness. e ve weighted the average of . days.
index such that the leaders in this Dimension are erchandising strategies came under scrutiny,
broadly innovative and strategic. as researchers investigated how well retailers
informed shoppers about their products. They
found that product pages featured an average
of between two and three . images. ome
of the Top retail websites offered
alternative results when a no results search was
made, while enabled shoppers to save the
products they d found to a wishlist.

S trategy & Innov ation

IRUK 500 2017: comparing the Top100 to the full cohort

he trateg Innovation imension highlights areas where there is a signicant dierence etween the est
and the rest ere we show the dierence etween the op 00, ased on all si Performance imensions and
the ootprint, and the op500 cohort as a whole

etric op 00 fraction op500 fraction

lick and collect 5
Return online purchase to store
ross platform wish list 5 5
i app 5 Knowledge Partner Po
ndroid app 55 assisted with some of
ame da deliver the research uoted in
this graphic
a proportion of the multichannel retailers in each group

IRUK 2017

aking it possible for shoppers to buy via Tesco performed to consistently high standards
mobile was a key point of interrogation for across the imension, with speedy and effective
researchers, who found that of the Top responses to customer enquiries. t answered a
retail websites offered ndroid apps, while acebook query in m on average and supported
had i apps of the i apps had six customer service and information channels
a serious bug. one more than the average of five. ts three
delivery options for non-grocery orders included
How the leading retailers perform next day delivery, nominated date and standard,
Individual retailers stand out in this Performance while it also offered click and collect. hoppers
Dimension not only for the overall heft of could nominate the day and time of delivery. t
their service offerings but also when they had a bug free i app, while its mobile website
punch well above their weight, as shown in loaded faster than most in the Top , with a
the Top ootprint. The Top ootprint speed index result ust of the median.
measures retailers by relatively blunt measures, oots answered customer service emails in an
such as turnover and store estate. dditional average time of an hour and a half, and acebook
performance related measures, such as in this messages in ust over four hours. t scored top
trategy nnovation imension, are then used marks for the way it dealt with both. verall, it
to calibrate that overall figure. The retailers that offered seven customer service and information
stood out in this Dimension included House of channels. t offered four delivery options, as well
raser, Tesco, oots, urrys and ext. ouse of as click and collect.
raser performed well above its ootprint rating Other retailers that performed well above
for a strategic approach that included an effective their si e included othercare, which scored
approach to customer service both on email full marks for its customer email response
and via acebook, and a wide choice of delivery and offered eight customer channels. ex
and collection options that suggested a well- Photographic also had eight customer service
considered strategy in this area. The department channels and offered five delivery options.
store offered six delivery options, plus ollect
and click and collect, and also enabled shoppers
to return their online orders to the store.

14 Th e C u st om er

Putting the
consumer first
How we assessed retailers on service and site experience

SHOPPERS HAVE A high-quality experience When researchers submitted a customer

when they visit ecommerce websites operated query over acebook, they found a faster median
by retail brands that lead in The Customer response time, at ust under half an hour. ut
Performance Dimension. The InternetRetailing the average response time was much slower,
analysis rewards Top500 websites that deliver at almost h ust over two days. The fastest
a fast loading website while also offering were very speedy indeed aitrose s average
outstanding customer service via a range of response time was s, while Topps Tiles average
channels. Leading websites enable customers to was 1.5m. Researchers rated the average response
read ratings and reviews on the site as well as of a Top company with three . out of a
via the mobile app. They also make it easy for possible four for how well the issue was resolved,
customers to find their way around sites, thanks and with an average of three . out of four for
to effective navigation strategies. esearchers also the quality of service.
took into account how easy it is for a customer to The average Top retail brand had ,
return an item once bought, as well as how long Twitter followers, although the median following
it takes for the item to be refunded. As a result came in at , . The leading Top retailer in
of research carried out with InternetRetailing this imension was ma on with, at the time of
nowledge artner hostery, retailers benefit the research, more than , followers.
if a website has fewer tag requests, as measured n total, of the Top offered product
through total tag load and unique tag loads. ratings, while offered product reviews.
Total page loads give an insight into how long obile was an important focus for the analysis,
visitors are staying on the site. which found that of the Top apps offered
written product reviews. Turning to website
What the Top500 do performance, mobile websites started to launch
The Top retailers offered customer in an average of . s and a median time of . s.
support or information through an average of y . s, the average Top mobile website
five . channels. ere, arks pencer stood was visually complete, while the median site
out with a market-leading eight channels. When took 1s.
researchers contacted Top500 retailers with an The final metrics considered were around
email query, they received a response in a median returns. n total, of the retailers for
time of h, while a small number of slow to whom the metric was relevant promised to
respond retailers took the average time to just refund items in full, while also refunded
under h . h . ut the fastest retailers were the cost of returning the item. Top500 retailers
ahead of those figures among the top retailers gave customers an average of days to return
for the imension, Topps Tiles responded to an unwanted items and took a median time of
email in m and ouse of raser in m. 11 days to process the refund.
Researchers rated the Top500s responses
on average at three out of four for effectiveness
in resolving the query, and rated the quality of
service at two out of a possible four.

Th e C u st om er

The leading retailers oots supported seven customer service and

The leading retailers in The Customer information channels. It scored the maximum
Performance Dimension are those that perform for effectiveness in its response to email queries,
well across metrics, rather than standing out answered on average in m, and to acebook
in a single area. They included aura shley, enquiries, answered in h m. t also ranked
ohn ewis, oots, ouse of raser and highly for its response to customer phone calls.
Waitrose. Laura Ashley took an average of Laura Ashley was among the retailers that
m to respond to a acebook query and dealt performed well above its weight as measured in
with phone enquiries on average in less than the Top ootprint. thers that punched above
m s . t scored high marks for the quality their weight in this Dimension included House
and effectiveness of its customer service across of raser, which has seven customer engagement
all channels. Its mobile website also loaded and information channels, answered emails in
extremely quickly. an average of m, acebook enquiries in s,
ohn ewis stood out for its customer service, and dealt with phone calls in . m, all with high
scoring maximum points on its service and issue scores for service and e ciency.
resolution via email, acebook and phone. t oules responded to acebook queries in an
responded to emails in an average of m and average of 16m and dealt with phone calls in
to acebook queries in m, and supported four s. t rated highly for quality of information
Feature name
engagement channels. It scored well for fast and customer service. isbets, with a mobile
visual rendering of its mobile website and had website that loaded in less than a minute, and
more than , Twitter followers. hain eaction ycles, with an easy to navigate
website, also punched well above their weight.

IRUK 500 2017: median results

Customer service response times*: Site engineering and performance:

Email 12 hours Unique website tags 76

Facebook half an hour Visually complete time

(mobile browser) 1.04 seconds

Knowledge partners Ghostery and NCC Group

*including bot responses assisted with the research quoted in this graphic IRUK 2017

The UK Top500 Around the World

16 O perations & L ogist ics

Delivering on
We chart retailers approaches to deliveries, collections and returns

SOPHISTICATED DELIVERY AND collection the metric is relevant, was the most popular
strategies that enable shoppers to receive their premium option. That was followed by Saturday
online orders in the way that best suits them are delivery, offered by , nominated day delivery
rewarded in the IRUK Top500 Operations & and unday delivery . ame day
Logistics Dimension. The leading retailers in this delivery and nominated time delivery
imension are those that offer a well considered were far less widely available, suggesting that
fulfilment strategy, allied to a generous and these are not yet important or sought after forms
effective returns policy. This imension also of delivery, or the logistics capability may be too
included research into whether retailers had costly or di cult for many retailers to implement
a stock checker on their mobile apps, udging at this time. It may be that they gain more
this would be a more convenient service for popularity in the future, and that s something
multichannel shoppers looking to buy from the this ndex will track. etailers were more likely to
most convenient place. deliver next day than to offer collection, currently
etailers that offer delivery and collection a service offered by of the for
choices, alongside generous return periods which the metric was relevant.
and fast refunds, come closest to meeting Stock checkers can help customers to locate
shoppers needs for seamless and flexible and organise delivery, or collection, of the goods
shopping, says artin haw, head of research they want to buy. Some 15% of retailers with
at nternet etailing. ffering plenty of choice apps had a stock checker on their mobile apps
in this area suggests that traders have not only for shoppers on the move, while ust . had
considered what their customers want, but that related stock checking features that went beyond
they have found a way to make this part of their the basic functionality.
business competitive in a way that will ultimately
boost overall profitability. What the Top500 do: returns
esearchers examined returns policies for the
What the Top500 do: delivery and collection 480 retailers for which the return of physical
Top retailers offered between two and three goods was relevant. They looked both at how
delivery options . , on average. The widest generous and convenient for on the go shoppers
choice was offered by ma on, with an average they were. They found 52% would fully refund
of six delivery options recorded over four an item that had been returned because it was
different tests over the period of research. no longer wanted, as long as it was returned
n average, the Top offered standard within the return policy time which averaged
delivery that takes between four and five days, days, with a median time of days. The
(4.6) to arrive. The fastest standard delivery longest returns period was days, offered
promise came from Carphone Warehouse at by Schuh and Shoe Zone.
one day. orld, urrys, uperdry and hoe The analysis also found that offered
one were the Top retailers that offered pre paid returns, while would refund the
standard delivery for free. Of the 291 (58%) postage costs of returning. Less generous retailers
retailers that offered free delivery once a charged a fee to return, averaging . across
minimum order value was reached, that value the that charged a fee. ooking at alternative
is an average of 57 and a median of 49. ways of returning goods, the study found that
The Top500 analysis looked at the most enabled shoppers to return their online
common options, to see which were most popular purchases to the store, while enabled return
or widely used. t found that next day delivery, via a third party location such as a locker or a
offered by of the retailers to which

O perations & L ogist ics

local convenience store. fifth enabled crewfix combined some relatively unusual
returns via a pick up from the house, while services in its delivery and returns promises.
enabled returns in the post, but did not. or example, it promised unday delivery and
Refunds were processed in an average of 11 days. also enabled shoppers to check in store stock via
its mobile app. It was one of the 100 traders to
The leading retailers pick up returns direct from the consumer.
Tesco, ainsbury s, arks pencer, ma on Those that performed beyond their weight in
and crewfix were among the leading retailers the Top ootprint included sos, oss ros,
in this imension, thanks to performances that iggle and gent rovocateur, suggesting a
often put them ahead of their peers by offering, performance that goes well beyond their physical
for example, relatively unusual services. Thus a presence and ecommerce turnover. sos offered
trader would be more likely to perform strongly nominated day and nominated time deliveries
if they offered same day delivery than if they and also pre paid returns. oss ros offered
offered the more common next day delivery. nominated day and time deliveries, as well as
Supermarkets Tesco and Sainsburys stood returns via drop off at a third party location.
out for a broad delivery offer across grocery iggle offered a comprehensive returns policy
and non food services. oth offer several less that included drop off at a third party location,
common services, including same day delivery, via a pick up from the house. t also refunded
nominated time delivery and unday delivery. the costs of return.
arks pencer scored highly for a inally, gent rovocateur offered unday
comprehensive returns promise that included delivery, pre paid returns and would also refund
return via drop off at a third party location. the cost of returns.
ma on s comprehensive service stood out with
the promise of same day and nominated time
deliveries, something that s testing for a pureplay
retailer. t also offered pre paid returns.

IRUK 500 2017: fulfilment promises

In last years Index we saw big increases Next day delivery: 65%
in retailers oering ne t da , unda ,
nominated da and nominated time Click and collect: 57%
delivery options, especially when looking
at the Largest 100 group. This year the
stor is dierent, with onl minor changes aturda deliver 5
discernable at the aggregate level
Nominated day delivery: 20%

unda deliver

Nominated time delivery: 8%

verage num er of deliver options

IRUK 2017

18 M erch and isi ng

Showcasing products
to best effect
e surve whether retailers oer clear e planations, strong imager and reviews

RETAILERS THAT PERFORMED well in the InternetRetailing research showed that

Merchandising Performance Dimension did of the retailers to which the metric
so when they used images, videos, reviews, was relevant enabled shoppers to find their
ratings and product descriptions to explain their way around websites using drop down search
products in great detail, while making them easy suggestions, while the use of navigational filters
to find through a website s search and navigation. was also widespread. ilter by price was the most
Communicating the product is all the more popular, used by of those assessed. ilter
vital online since shoppers viewing on a desktop by product type was used by , while
or from a smartphone can t touch or feel items enabled browsers to search by brand. anner
as they can in the store. nternet etailing advertising was used on of retail websites,
researchers set out to judge how well retailers while ust six . marked their bestselling
explained and presented their products online. products. romotions were made obvious on the
They looked at how easy it was for shoppers to homepages of of websites.
search and navigate a website, and how well rand iew showed that of products
products were illustrated, both through oomable stocked by retailers were on offer over the
images and through product information. last six months of . n all, these leading
hether products could be shared or iked retailers had an average of , products on
via social media, saved to a list, or bought promotion. The fact that the median number of
without registration were all considered. n site products on promotion is , suggests that a
promotions, from a bestseller tag to upselling relatively small number of retailers run a large
and cross selling, were also taken into account. number of promotions.
The research extended, through the ongoing One key metric looked at was whether a no
InternetRetailing Product and Merchandising results search returned any answers. t found
Tracker, in association with InternetRetailing that of retailers did offer alternative
Knowledge Partner Brand View, to reveal the suggestions when they didn t have stock of a
completeness of retailers product displays by particular product.
describing the proportion of items that are out alf offered product ratings and ust
of stock, on promotion, feature product videos over half had reviews on their websites.
or reviews, or lack a description. ore than half helped shoppers to share
Then, looking at retailers mobile apps, the products with friends using social media, while
analysis also considered the quality of imagery offered social validation on the product page.
and the availability of star ratings, and gave even in used cross selling to
scores for personalisation and searchandising. recommend similar products while 15% used
upselling to suggest a more expensive product
What the Top500 did or combination. ome required shoppers
Top retailers showed, on average, between to register before they checked out checkout
three and four images . of each product. taking an average of between three and four
.com had, on average, between five and six . pages.
images of each product . and also showed ome of the Top had an i mobile
product videos for 31% of its electricals range, app, analysed for merchandising features by
according to Brand View research, which was nternet etailing nowledge artner oq. The
much higher than the average of 18% within its analysis showed that, of retailers with apps, fewer
sector. That research, covering of the largest supported the same level of product visibility and
IRUK traders, showed that, on average, retailers merchandising on that channel as on their main
showed reviews for 58% of their products,
although of products lacked descriptions.

M erch and isi ng
Merchandising Graphic

IRUK 500 2017: 33.4%

percentage of range
out of stock by sector
The results of this analysis,
researched in collaboration with Toys
Brand View, are shown here Appliances
aggregated to sector. This metric is
one of 40 used as ranking signals
in the Merchandising Dimension DIY

Knowledge Partner Brand 11.6%
View researched the dataset 8.9%
used in this graphic

IRUK 2017
May 2016 June July August September October

websites of retail apps showed the product offering alternative results to a no results search
through more than one image, while half made and enabling shoppers to ike its products.
images oomable within the app. ore than a Sally was among the retailers that performed
quarter showed the star rating that each well above its weight as defined through the
product had, showed written product Top ootprint in this imension.
reviews, while enabled shoppers to save an Others that did the same included white goods
item to a wishlist. inally, offered daily deals to computing retailer .com, which offered
from the app. product videos on 31% of its electrical products
compared to the sector average of and
What the leading retailers do showed between five and six images for each
ohn ewis, ma on, arly earning entre, product, well above the average. t also showed
Argos and Sally Express were among the leaders alternative results for a no results search.
in this imension. ach performed to a high Bathstore showed alternative results for a no
level on most metrics and stood out by adopting results search, and enabled both social validation
those that were less commonly used but that and social media ikes. ootasylum also enabled
researchers udged to be highly effective. social validation and Likes, while providing a
ohn ewis combined star ratings with written wishlist feature.
product reviews to good effect, and also offered oss ros scored well above its ootprint,
daily deals on its mobile app. through features that included the use of
ma on stood out for being one the retailers bestseller ribbons, the ability to filter by brand,
that used the bestseller ribbon to mark popular and alternative suggestions to a no results search.
items, for its exceptional use of written product lso ranking in this imension well above
reviews, and for its ability to offer alternative their ootprint si e were ycle urgery, which
suggestions to a no results search one of enabled shoppers to ike its products via social
of retailers that did. media and provided upselling suggestions; and
Early Learning Centre stood out with another etthelabel.com, which had social media sharing
consistent performance. t outperformed the and ikes alongside daily deals.
average Top500 retailer with social validation, Seed merchant and gardening supplier
filter by brand, and the ability to save to a Thompson & Morgan was ranked more than
wishlist to good use. rgos used product reviews places above its ootprint for its use of
alongside product ratings and also offered daily less common features, including the use of a
deals through its app. bestseller ribbon, upselling and giving alternative
airdressing and beauty supplies website ally suggestions on a no results search.
xpress made good use of the bestseller ribbon,

20 B rand engagem ent

Open channels of
Social media, email and customer service all help
retailers to perform strongly in this Dimension

AN ACTIVE AND multichannel approach to enabled social validation. lmost half

customer engagement and social media help of the retailers with an i app enabled
retailers to stand out in the Brand Engagement users to share an item on social media. ust
Performance Dimension. Those that lead in this of retailers with apps showed social media ikes
Dimension use all the channels at their disposal on the app, perhaps suggesting little demand for
to start and develop conversations with the this feature. ome of i retail apps showed
shoppers they serve. star ratings for products, while showed
Researchers used more than 30 metrics written product reviews.
to find out how retail brands communicate ome of Top retailers
with existing and potential customers. They maintained a acebook page. f those,
measured how many customer service channels showed links to other social networks from that
retailers supported, whether they linked to page, while featured a hop ow button on
or enabled validation through social media it, taking an active approach to encouraging social
enabled shoppers to ike or to share an item media users to buy. here retailers enabled
on acebook, while counting the number of visitors to the page to check in, an average of
acebook ikes, check ins as well as Twitter , had done so. owever, the median figure
engagement and followers. was , , suggesting that retailers that perform
tar ratings and product reviews in mobile strongly in this area tend to have exponentially
apps were also important. InternetRetailing more check ins. This was also demonstrated
nowledge artner eturn ath contributed when the number of people talking on acebook
an analysis of email marketing campaigns that was measured the average number was ,
showed whether recipients read or deleted emails while the median was . hen the number of
sent by leading Top retailers. acebook page ikes was measured, the average
was significantly higher, at . m, than the
What the Top500 do median, at . m.
Top retailers take an active approach ewer Top retailers had a
to communicating with their customers. Twitter feed with a significant enough presence
esearchers found they operated between four to be included in our Tweetailer ndex. Those
and five . channels through which they could that did, had an average following of ,
talk to shoppers. Customer engagement features followers during the course of the research.
on the website included the ability to ike a gain, the median following was lower at , ,
product on social media, featured by of the suggesting that while some retailers have large
retailers for which this metric was relevant. followings, the norm is lower. Through metrics
Half deployed product ratings and just over that reflect engagement that goes beyond merely
half product reviews. ome enabled having a Twitter account, researchers found
visitors to share products with friends, while that retailers on Twitter had an average of ,
friends again this is higher than the median

B rand engagem ent

of 1110 and that they had posted an average of Dimension. It stood out for its integration of
, tweets or a median of , . ollowers social media with customers finding it easier
favourited an average of , of their tweets. to share their favourite products with friends.
ere the median was , . n average, mails from othercare, rgos and en oyed
followers had added each Top retailer to their a high read rate, while they were also among the
lists of favourite Twitter accounts although the few retailers that enabled mobile app users to see
median was lower at . both written product reviews and star ratings.
study contributed by nternet etailing ohn ewis enabled its app users to see written
Knowledge Partner Return Path analysed product reviews. Its emails enjoyed a high read
email marketing campaigns run by sub groups rate, while a high number of users marked its
of the Top . The research focused on the emails as not spam.
largest retailers, who sent hundreds othercare was among the retailers that
of thousands of emails to panellists over the stood out for a performance that punched well
Christmas shopping period included in the study. above the retailer s weight, as suggested in the
The study found that, on average, . of emails Top ootprint, which ranks retailers
were read, . were deleted without reading, by metrics including turnover, revenue from
were marked as spam by the mail service ecommerce and number of physical stores in the
provider, . were marked as not spam by the . thers included Topshop, with emails that
recipients and . were deleted overall. ust enjoyed high read rates, and a high not spam
of emails were forwarded. rate. The retailer also enabled shoppers to share
items on social media.
What the leading retailers do ictoria s ecret and and s nd also
Retailers in this Brand Engagement Performance integrated well with social media, with iking
Dimension stand out with a high degree of and visible validation on the product page. This
customer engagement, especially on metrics approach dovetailed with the use of ratings and

1 where
F eatuthey
nam well
e ahead of the average.
mong the leaders were ebenhams, othercare,
rgos, ohn ewis and arks pencer.
reviews on their websites and apps.
n this imension, yprotein ranked an
impressive places above the place its Top
ebenhams emails not only en oyed a high Footprint would suggest. The nutrition specialist
read rate, but were marked as not spam at a enabled its visitors to ike products and to
higher rate than any other Top retailer in this validate them on social media.
Brand Engagement Graphic

IRUK 500 2017: topics by sentiment

Retailers connections with customers via social and traditional media
are in scope of the Brand Engagement Dimension. Here the Top500s
aggregate most significant topics by consumer sentiment (0 is neutral) are
0.14 shown for the Christmas shopping period in 2016
-0.01 -0.02

IRUK 2017 -0.34 -0.37

Knowledge Partner
Clarabridge researched the
dataset used in this graphic

Awerness / In-store retail Buying forces Online Staff & manager Delivery process Refunds Customer Renew expand
gather info experience experience experience & returns support / churn

22 M ob ile & C ross- ch annel

Helping shoppers buy

wherever they are
Apps that linked store and online stood out in this Dimension

ON-THE-GO SHOPPERS CAN use their What the Top500 do

smartphones or tablet computers to research and More than a third (37%) of the 423 retailers
shop the range easily when they use the mobile considered in this part of the analysis had
app or website operated by a leading retailer Android apps while 41% had iOS apps. The latter
in the Mobile & Cross-channel Performance are analysed in detail in this Dimension simply
Dimension. Theyre also able to use cross-channel because retailers are more likely to have them,
services, such as returning online purchases to and because where a retailer has both, the apps
the store, store stock checkers, and click-and- tend to offer a very similar experience.
collect services, that enable them to shop in the Some 63% of iOS apps were transactional, with
way thats most convenient for them at any given more than a third (37%) not transactional. Just
point in their day. under half of retailers (47%) enabled shoppers
InternetRetailing researchers, in partnership to find a store through their app, while had
with InternetRetailing Knowledge Partner store stock checkers, although only six retailers
Poq, judged performance in this Dimension added extra features to those stock checkers.
through metrics chosen to reflect a dynamic At the cutting edge, retailers are enabling
and sophisticated mobile app strategy. This shoppers to use their loyalty cards via the app
research focused on the 204 Top500 retailers in a way that can link the store and online very
that offered i apps. etrics relating to apps effectively. n this research, only enabled app
included whether they enable customers to users to create a new loyalty account via the app,
change currency or language, to manage their but more (9%) enabled them to enter details of an
loyalty card from the app, to check stock or to existing loyalty card or to scan their card .
scan products, whether in-store or at home, third (33%) had barcode scanning functionality.
using a barcode scanner. Also measured were More than half (52%) of iOS apps used push
apps use of varied product images, whether they notifications and offered daily deals within
offered a native shopping experience, sent push the app.
notifications and enabled shoppers to buy online. When it comes to viewing products, 53%
Wishlists, product ratings, reviews and other offered more than one image, while enabled
features were also taken into account. The speed users to zoom in on the images. Only two retailers
and engineering of mobile websites was gauged, (1%) enabled shoppers to Like products on social
in collaboration with Knowledge Partner NCC media from the app, while 44% enabled shoppers
Group, with nine metrics. Finally, multichannel to share them on social media. More than a
retailers were assessed on how their stores tied quarter showed ratings and offered
into their ecommerce offerings. written product reviews.
Martin Shaw, head of research at obile websites took an average of . s to
InternetRetailing, says: In this Dimension, download, becoming visually complete in . s.
we can see whether Top500 retailers are Pages were an average of 2.2MB in size, while
using mobile as a way to bridge the store and the median was 1.7MB.
online, or whether they are operating mobile
apps, websites and stores in isolation. In this
Dimension, we reward those that make the most
of their app, while also providing mobile websites
that download quickly. Thats important since
shoppers are less likely to want to wait for a site
to load when they are moving around or on a
mobile data connection.

M ob ile & C ross- c h annel

IRUK 500 2017: mobile web overview

Performance of each retailers mobile website is a key part of the
Mobile & Cross-channel Dimension. Here weve aggregated results
to show the Top500 median and best sector

Metric Top500 Median Best Sector (average)

Data start 0.13s Sports & Leisure
Render start 2.08s Business Goods
Domain load 2.43s Business Goods
Visually complete 6.36s Business Goods
Download duration 7.29s Business Goods
Page size 1.7MB Grocery

Knowledge Partner
NCC Group researched the
dataset used in this graphic
IRUK 2017

More than half (57%) of the 469 retailers for can enter loyalty card details, and Asda shoppers
whom this metric was relevant enabled shoppers enjoy daily deals. The Boots app also scored
to collect their online purchases from a store, highly for searchandising.
locker or third-party location, while more than Dorothy Perkins, Apple, Topshop, Holland &
a third (37%) enabled goods bought online to be Barrett and House of Fraser all performed well
returned to store. above their weight, as defined in the Top
Footprint. Dorothy Perkins did so thanks to
What the leaders do relatively unusual set of app features that
Retailers that stand out in the Mobile & included a store stock checker, daily deals and
Cross-channel Performance Dimension do so a barcode scanner.
when they consistently perform in the metrics Apple also had a store stock checker on its iOS
that apply to their kind of retail, and when they app, while additional features included written
offer services that go well beyond the average. product reviews and star ratings. It scored highly
Tesco, a leader in this Dimension, scores highly for searchandising.
because it is one of the few retailers that enabled ouse of raser offered a sophisticated stock
shoppers to create a new loyalty account through checker. It also scored highly for personalisation
its mobile app. Researchers found users could and searchandising. Topshop had a store checker,
also scan existing loyalty cards and enter loyalty daily deals and a barcode scanner. Holland &
card details in the app. It also scored highly for Barrett enabled shoppers to enter loyalty card
both personalisation and searchandising. details and to scan their cards; it also had an
ainsbury s offered an ndroid app as well as Android app.
an i app, offered daily deals and also enabled
shoppers to enter loyalty card details.
Shoppers using the M&S app can scan a loyalty
card, enter loyalty card details and read written
reviews of products. It scored highly for in-app
search relevance.
The Asda and Boots apps both showed product
reviews and star ratings, while Boots shoppers

24 S u perm ark ets

Food for thought

The big supermarkets have had a tough time, but dont count them out just yet

THE WAY WE buy groceries is changing, which

is putting huge pressure on the supermarkets.
This much we know because of an almost daily
diet of news stories that tell of how, for example,
Tesco and ainsbury s are struggling to fight

Image credit: Home Retail Group

off competition from erman discounters. ut
how true is this picture? Without denying the
challenges, its worth taking a step back and
looking at some raw statistics.
According to analysts Kantar Worlpanel, at the
turn of 2016/17, the so-called big four Tesco,
Sainsburys, Asda and Morrisons collectively
commanded . of the ritish grocery market. Argos digital-format stores are becoming a familiar
sight In Sainsburys stores around the country
hile that figure is down from . two years
ago, it still speaks of retailers with heft and reach.
This picture is backed up by our research for M obi l e & C r oss- ch a n n el : according to
the InternetRetailing UK Top 500, which sees InternetRetailing research, the load time for
leading supermarkets performing strongly. While supermarkets mobile websites outperforms
this is in part because of the Footprint of the the fashion sector. Its a reminder that many
companies our Index favours bigger companies supermarkets were early onto the web and have
thats by no means the whole story. We found been able to bring their experience to bear on the
the sector performs particularly strongly in three transition to a mobile first world.
Dimensions: Strategy & Innovation, Mobile To inject a note of caution, the idea of cross-
& Cross-channel, and Operations & Logistics. channel retail poses problems for supermarkets
elow, we look at each of these in turn. in that supermarkets have traditionally expanded
by building and buying more stores. Along
S t r a t eg y & I n n ov a t i on : it may seem with other factors, the rise of ecommerce has
counterintuitive to suggest that big supermarkets undermined this strategy of more is more. In
are innovative but this is an area where size January 2016, Tesco CEO Dave Lewis announced
matters. That s because supermarkets can afford that the retailer wasnt going to proceed with the
to experiment at a small scale to see if things construction of large supermarkets because
work, but then have the resources to undertake the company quite simply could not afford
large scale transformative projects. them. One lesson here is that supermarkets
For an example of how this works, consider the need to make real estate work as part of a wider
tie-up between Sainsburys and Argos. In January cross-channel strategy.
2015, the (then) two companies announced that
Argos was opening 10 digital-format stores, L og i st i cs & O per a t i on s: of the three areas
concessions, within Sainsburys branches. These where supermarkets perform best, this is
10 Argos stores will complement our supermarket perhaps the least surprising. When customers
offer, giving customers the opportunity to shop order a weekly shop, it cant arrive a day late
for an extended range of non-food items, noted and every delivery slot has to be honoured.
Sainsburys CEO Mike Coupe at the time. Accordingly, supermarkets quickly invested in the
Clearly, things went well. Sainsburys infrastructure necessary to make this happen, to
subsequently bought ome etail roup, the the extent that vans unloading groceries are now
parent company of Argos and Habitat. The a familiar sight on ritain s streets.
supermarket is revamping stores around the That said, theres no room for complacency.
country to include Argos concessions and, in For a start, as Morrisons discovered a few
eptember , announced plans to open five years back when it didnt prioritise ecommerce,
Mini Habitat stores in Sainsburys stores. not focusing on digital makes investors and

F ast - f ood d eliv ery se rv ice s

customers unhappy. More seriously, the recent for the family shop at a time when the notion of
announcement of Morrisons at Amazon, which buying groceries for the week is already anathema
enables Prime Now members in London and to many urban and younger customers. If this is
parts of Hertfordshire to have a grocery order the case, the supermarkets will need to respond.
delivered within the hour, offers clues as to how
this sector will develop. T o con cl u d e while we shouldnt
It will also be intriguing to see how new underestimate the challenges faced by the
kinds of services, such as the Amazon Dash supermarkets, the idea that the companies
replenishment service, which enables customers themselves arent aware of the problems or
to order such products as washing powder at the finding effective ways to fight is to overstate
click of a button, will affect the grocery sector. whats happening. Announcements of the death
It may be that such services will erode the need throes of the ritish supermarket, while they
make for good headlines, are premature.

Grub on the go
A new breed of fast-food delivery services may
oer clues a out new approaches for retailers

ITS REALLY NOT so long ago that ordering a notonthehighstreets

Image credits: Deliveroo

takeaway to eat at home involved phoning, say, curation of items
a local curry emporium and, should a menu not from independent
be to hand, talking through the options. The rise craft suppliers.
of websites aggregating the offerings of local Nevertheless, the
takeaways is doing away with the fine tradition convenience and
of shouting, Chicken what? down the line at a localism of these sites
harassed waiter. is a powerful combination, especially when allied
Destinations such as Hungry House, JustEat, to mobile. This is a sector where convenience
UberEats and Deliveroo are changing this. is crucial who wants to wait longer than is
Essentially, these are companies that work like absolutely necessary for a takeaway? and,
a combination of marketplace and directory, increasingly, this kind of impatience seems
but also add in courier/taxi logistics capability to be invading retail.
and the ability for customers to track orders. Well also be interested to see whether larger
This makes it straightforward for customers to fast-food companies compete. While companies
order food from even the smallest eatery online. such as c onald s have yet to offer home
Considering that JustEat, which had revenues delivery (We do not want to introduce a delivery
of . m in , values the ritish takeaway service unless were sure that the meals delivered
market at 5.5bn, its easy to see why so many would be of the same high quality as those served
companies are operating in this space. in our restaurants, says the companys website),
o are there lessons here for ritish retailers Dominos Pizza is forging ahead, enabling orders
Perhaps not in the business model. After all, via acebook essenger and offering ersonal
there are similarities to what notonthehighstreet. Pizza Tracker functionality.
com does notably with Deliveroo, which This is definitely an area we ll be monitoring in
focuses on high-end restaurants, analogous to the year ahead.

26 B rand Ind ex

The InternetRetailing
Brand Index
Jonathan Wright and Chloe Rigby
introduce our recent research into
direct-selling brands

TO UNDERSTAND WHY brands are increasingly

going direct to consumers, the experience of

Image credit: Barbour

Barbour is instructive. In 2017, the upmarket
country clothing brand will launch a transactional
website in the US. When you get 1.5m hits to
[the brand-marketing website], you need to do
something, Paul Johnson-Barnett, Barbours Barbour made plans to launch a US transactional site
head of distribution said at eDelivery Conference because its brand-marketing site was so popular
in October 2016. Simply, the opportunity is too
good to miss. looking to help them. Ecommerce specialists
This shouldnt be too surprising. Were Salesforce Commerce Cloud, for example, sees
all brand conscious. In August 2016, eBay huge opportunities here, reasoning that brands
research revealed that 88% of UK consumers building new online operations may be drawn to
expected to find favourite brands through online a scalable, cloud based offering.
marketplaces. Accordingly, the company makes If this sounds like bad news for retailers, its
it easy to search by brand. For a rather more worth emphasising that consumers still value the
old-world example, one reason for the popularity opportunity to go to stores, to see and touch the
of department stores is that we expect to be able items theyre interested in buying. In addition,
to find favourite brands in these locations. retailers can add value. UK retailer John Lewis
From a consumer point of view, both offers a two year standard guarantee against
marketplaces and department stores offer the Apple products failing, double the length of the
reassurance of a safe shopping environment. technology giants one-year standard guarantee.
From the brand owner perspective, though, Besides, brands still need retailers. Not every
theres a problem here: the loss of control over ego customer can get to a flagship store and it s
how goods are presented and sold. Selling direct impractical for the company to begin opening
not only potentially drives revenues, it also gives stores in all of the worlds provincial towns.
more control over the customer relationship. Nevertheless, the phenomenon of brands
The example of Apple is instructive. This is not selling direct is real and it will impact hugely
only a company that creates highly aspirational on the retail sector in the years ahead.
products, it is also a hugely successful retailer. This explains why we compiled our first
According to data from eMarketer, it generates InternetRetailing Brand Index last year, which
$5,546 per square foot from its US retail stores analyses the Performance of brands across the
that s higher than Tiffany o, oach and same Dimensions we use for the IRUK Top
Michael Kors. Its airy stores, showrooms with a trategy nnovation, The ustomer,
high level of customer service from sales staff not Merchandising, Brand Engagement, Operations
tied to tills, reflect the brand s values. n addition, ogistics and obile ross channel. This
Apple is a cross-channel retailer that uses revealed that Apple, Dorothy Perkins, New Look,
customer details to understand what consumers ike and ull ear are lite brands, statistically
want. This explains in part why it prefers to email ahead of all others and representing the pinnacle
receipts even for store purchases its a quick, of retail practice by brands in Europe.
unobtrusive way to gather information.
n different ways, other brands are looking T o learn more ab ou t ou r res earch into b rand s ,
to replicate Apples success, and suppliers are v is it http : / / etail.li/ b rand ind ex

Th e IRE U 500

The IREU Top500

Jonathan Wright and Chloe Rigby outline what our research into
European retailers says about the challenges of selling abroad

RETAIL IS A tough enough business for

companies operating in only one territory, let
alone those seeking to expand abroad. Yet for
retailers operating at scale, we would argue its
imperative to do more than consolidate or seek to
expand at home. Not only is expansion overseas a
way to boost energy levels and create momentum
within the company, the raw figures on potential

Image credit: Alza

opportunities are also hard to ignore.
According to a E u rop ean B 2 C E commerce
R ep ort from Ecommerce Europe, turnover from
ecommerce grew to 455.3bn in 2015. Based on
an analysis of 48 countries, the report forecast Alza has made the creation of localised digital offerings
a key part of its European expansion strategy
this figure would grow to bn by .
n themselves, these figures go a long way This granular detail in turn offers clues as
towards explaining why we launched the to what makes for a successful pan-European
IREU Top500 last year. Based on new qualitative retailer. Take a company such as Czech
and quantitative research, we wanted to know electronics retailer Alza. In an increasingly
which European retailers were performing best mobile first world, it runs dedicated i and
across the European Economic Area (EEA) Android apps in the UK, Czech Republic,
plus Switzerland. In addition, we wanted to get Slovakia, Germany and Austria. Its pan-European
a sense of what was happening by seeing how Alzashop app is available in 23 EEA countries
urope wide dynamics were affecting retailers and offers product ratings, customer reviews,
in different countries. the ability to share products on social media and
In this context, at least for now, its intriguing advanced searchandising through predictive
to note that three territories constitute by far and search. Its the companys mobile expertise thats
away the most important European markets: the doing much to drive its expansion, which may
United Kingdom, France and Germany. Together, prove to be an especially canny strategy in an
these three countries accounted for . of all era when many emerging countries are largely
European online turnover in 2015. Theyre also skipping over what we might call the awkward
the markets where we most often find examples desktop phase of digital development.
of new techniques being introduced. Finally, we have to mention Brexit here.
Yet if these markets are lucrative and Theresa Mays recent speech suggested that
innovative, they are also highly competitive and Britain is heading out of the EEA and this will
they don t necessarily offer the best opportunities certainly impact on British retailers. Nonetheless,
for growth. Belgium, a far less mature ecommerce we would still expect British companies to look
market, grew by . in , while for braver to Europe for new markets and vice versa. Aside
retailers, non-EEA markets such as Ukraine from anything else, it becomes no easier to export
and Turkey . grew faster still. to countries outside the EEA simply because
In addition to looking at the Europe- Britain is no longer part of the EU.
wide picture, our research across the six
Performance Dimensions of Strategy & T o learn more ab ou t ou r res earch into b rand s ,
Innovation, The Customer, Merchandising, Brand v is it http : / / etail.li/ eu rop e5 0 0
Engagement, Operations & Logistics and Mobile
ross channel offers fascinating insights into
which companies are performing most strongly
within different areas of etail raft.

28 O ngoing rese arch

Ongoing research
developing the Index
InternetRetailing Editor-in-Chief Ian Jindal sets out how our
Top500 research will continue to evolve over the coming year

DURING 2017 WELL continue interaction and peak trading multichannel retailers by metrics
to develop research into the way periods. e re doing this in order including turnover, revenues
that the UKs leading retailers to give retailers ongoing insights from ecommerce and size of
do business online and across into areas of performance that store network. e ll then add in
different channels. are critical both for them and for performance metrics in order to
Well add new metrics as we others. or all, we ll be releasing develop in-depth Top500 listings
expand our focus to measure regular updates of information and for key markets around the globe.
the time that visitors spend on insights that will help to highlight At the same time, well closely
websites, and customers levels developing trends. follow trends in technology and
of interaction. Well continue to correlate the customer behaviour in order to
Well also be expanding our results with other data sources in identify and evaluate key metrics
stable of trackers that, like the areas including tra c, response of innovation for .
Product & Merchandising Tracker times and service, in order to Were always interested to hear
in partnership with Brand View calibrate our view of retailers your questions, suggestions or
(see right), monitor performance performance over time and ideas for the kind of data that
throughout the year. their use of etail raft. would help in your business, and
These trackers will also Well also be covering new which we can use in order to make
focus on a variety of areas that regions of the world. That our indices as relevant as possible
include website engineering and will start with new editions of to RetailCraft and the practice
performance, brand sentiment, the Top ootprint series, of the best. lease email us at
search visibility, social media which rank ecommerce and research internetretailing.net

O ngoing rese arch

InternetRetailingBrand View IRUK

F eatu re nam e
Product and Merchandising Tracker
The Customer Graphic
ITS CLEAR THAT the more The Product and Merchandising retailers in the different categories
information retailers give about Tracker monitors the discount are discounting their products.
IRUK 500the
their products, 2017: median strategies
better equipped resultsand merchandising In 2016, key trends that emerged
shoppers will be to make buying deployment of Elite and Leading from this research included a
decisions. ow much detail do Top500 retailers across six product move towards filling the gaps that
Customer service
leading IRUK response
Top500 times*:
retailers use categories: grocery, Site engineering and
appliances, performance:
occur when product descriptions
to describe their products? How toys, fragrance, and electrical. are missing, when items lack
many images do they use? Whats It takes a regular snapshot of product reviews, and when items
the role of reviews and videos? how retailers in these categories are out of stock.
Does using these merchandising merchandise products on their It was also clear, post-Brexit,
techniques make it more or less websites. erformance is measured that while wholesale prices were
likely that retailers will eventually through metrics that assess the rising, supermarkets were keen
discount their
Email 12 goods?
hours Unique website tags 76to maintain competitive pricing.
detail of product descriptions
these half an and
We wanted to answerFacebook hour
the number of images that We will continue to monitor these
Visually complete time
questions in a way that might are used, on average, to illustrate trends in browser)
(mobile . 1.04 seconds
define practical approaches used products, and whether product
by top retailers, approaches that videos and reviews are used to www.brandview.com
UK retailers of all sizes might then enhance Knowledge partners
information still Ghostery and NCC Group
*including bot responses assisted with the research quoted in this graphic IRUK 2017
be able to adopt. The tracker then looks at whether

The UK Top500 around the world

Source countries for the UK Top500s web traffic, excluding the UK itself. As we expand
our analyses to other continents, how likely are we to see familiar names in the lists?

Knowledge partner SimilarWeb provided the dataset used

in this graphic. The data was normalised to aid comparison IRUK 2017

30 Knowledge Partners

Thank you
Thanks to our Title Sponsor, PFS, for contributions to our
year-round research, helping us connect the insights and
ndings with commercial professionals in multichannel

Knowledge partners
InternetRetailing would like to thank our Knowledge Partners, the
companies that have oered the original research insights, advice
and guidance that have helped put the IRUK 500 together

C oncl u si on

Editors: Chloe Rigby

and Jonathan Wright
Editor-in-Chief: Ian Jindal
Design: Lydia Cooke
AS WE START 2017, UK retailers continue to
Publishing Director: Chris Cooke impress with headline-grabbing initiatives that
Group Account Director: deploy tools such as machine learning and artificial
Andy James intelligence to understand and give relevant answers
Account Director: Marvin Roberts
to the questions that shoppers ask. But beyond the
marvin@internetretailing.net leading pack of retailers, there remains a following
Tel: 020 7933 8999 group that has not mastered the challenges of
delivering a seamless multichannel customer
Internet Retailing
SJP Business Media Ltd, experience, or of offering mobile services that
52-54 Gracechurch Street, work to bridge the gap between online and offline,
London, EC3V 0EH or of delivering personalised content that reflects
Printed in Great Britain
shoppers interests. These are more likely to be
ISSN 1759-0582
the retailers with smaller budgets or the ones that
dont have the in-house resources to dedicate to
cutting-edge developments.
At InternetRetailing, we believe that retailers of
all sizes can compete and we hope that this Top500
For circulation enquiries contact: goes some way to sharing a clear understanding of
SJP Business Media what the leaders in multichannel retailing do, how
PO Box 6009
Thatcham, Berkshire
they do it, and how their successes can be emulated
RG19 4TT by concentrating on the tools and technologies that
Tel: 01635 879361 make a real difference to profits.
Fax: 01635 868594 Throughout the year, well continue to analyse
our findings and present them in more detail in
No part of this circulation may be a series of six Top500 Performance Dimension
reproduced, stored in a retrieval Reports that combine deep understanding with
system or transmitted by any
tried-and-tested practical approaches. We will also
means without the publishers
permission. The editorial content continue to update our website with periodic indices
does not necessaril re ect that track the activities of market leaders, including
the views of the publisher. the Product and Merchandising Tracker and the
The publisher accepts no
Web Performance Tracker.
responsibility for any errors
contained within the publication. The year ahead will see us deliver our first true
analyses of retail markets beyond Europe, where
www.internetretailing.net we will apply the same data-driven insight.
Were always interested, too, in new suggestions
as to how we can extend our research to continually
improve the quality of findings.
Get in touch with your ideas and potential data
sets via research@internetretailing.net or tweet
@etail with #IRUK500.