Measuring the Footprint, or significance of Australian retailers was the first milestone in our IRAU research. We’ve started to measure and test the potential of cross-border ecommerce, counting the number of stores each retailer operates and monitoring the online performance of thousands of traders. We’ve tracked domains and we’ve calculated revenue. In doing so we’ve found an enormous range in the type and size of retailers that operate on the continent, from pan-Australian grocers such as Woolworths and Coles right down to the smaller specialist traders that also take their places on the list.
Our work so far is an important prelude to the more detailed analysis that we’ve already begun. In the next stage of our research, we’ll move beyond calculating which retailers are the biggest and the most significant. We’ll start to look in more detail at which provide the best service. We’ll be asking questions around how rapidly merchants respond to customer enquiries, and how quickly and cheaply merchants deliver goods. We’ll assess the ambition of each retailer’s strategy, and approaches to merchandising.
In the months that follow, the InternetRetailing expert team of researchers will evaluate the IRAU Top250 through the prism of our six performance dimensions: Strategy and Innovation; The Customer; Operations and Logistics; Merchandising; Brand Engagement; and Mobile and Cross-channel. We will be taking the processes and analyses used in the Europe Top500, adding to them and refining them, and working out which best measure performance in the Australian market. We’ll work from the customer’s point of view, testing services as they are delivered. Moreover, we’ll check that what sounds good in theory works in practice, working in conjunction with our Knowledge Partners.
From this work, we’ll produce the IRAU Top250 Retail Performance Index, in which we aim to draw an accurate and useful picture of the Australian ecommerce market as it is today. We’ll be looking to assess what lessons ecommerce and multichannel businesses across Australia, and indeed around the world, can learn from these leading cross-channel retailers, and from the services they deliver to customers in one of the most exciting and innovative markets in the world.
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