The IRUK Top500 2017, published in partnership with PFS [IRDX VPFS] and now available online, judges the performance of the UK’s ecommerce and multichannel retailers through in-depth and practically-focused research. This compares and contrasts the capabilities of top-flight traders through six key dimensions – strategy and innovation, operations and logistics, brand engagement, the customer and merchandising – to see where and how the best retailers excel.
InternetRetailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal said: “Our index takes an analytical approach that ranges across six Performance Dimensions and isn’t 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, that’s responsive to the customer.”
The research comes at a time when UK retailers continue to impress with headline-grabbing initiatives that deploy tools such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to understand and give relevant answers to the questions that shoppers ask. But beyond the leading pack of retailers, finds the research, there remains a following group that has not mastered the challenges of delivering a seamless multichannel customer experience, or of offering mobile services that work to bridge the gap between online and offline, or of delivering personalised content that reflects shoppers’ interests. These are more likely to be the retailers with smaller budgets or the ones that don’t have the in-house resources to dedicate to cutting-edge developments.
Jindal said: “At InternetRetailing, we believe that retailers of all sizes can compete and we hope that this Top500 goes some way to sharing a clear understanding of what the leaders in multichannel retailing do, how they do it, and how their successes can be emulated by concentrating on the tools and technologies that make a real difference to profits.”
Over the course of 2017, analysis into the findings of the IRUK Top500 report will continue. Findings will be presented in more detail in a series of six Top500 Performance Dimension Reports that combine deep understanding with tried-and-tested practical approaches. The InternetRetailing website will be updated with regular indices tracking the activities of market leaders, including the Product and Merchandising Tracker and the Web Performance Tracker.