Editor's Comment

Ocado, Sainsbury’s, John Lewis: what IRUK Top500 retailers are doing to stand out from the crowd

IRUK Top500 retailers are using a myriad of different ways to give their customers added value, and make it more likely they’ll become loyal customers. This move to differentiate, to stand out from the competition is ever-more important in a retail environment in which consumers are spending less, but favouring a small group of retailers when they do shop.

Today’s InternetRetailing looks at some of the latest approaches being taken by leading retailers from Ocado and John Lewis through to Argos and Sainsbury’s.

Ocado claims the position of first UK supermarket to use Amazon’s voice controlled Alexa service to enable voice ordering for its customers. Meanwhile Sainsbury’s is enabling Argos and Tu shoppers to pick up their online orders not only at its large supermarkets but now also at its convenience stores.

John Lewis is piloting online – and offline – bookings for recommended tradespeople through its own website, while Jimmy Choo reported this week that its move to offer omnichannel services has helped to lift sales.

We also report today on two retailers’ approaches to customer insight. In our interview, Nick Glynne explains how Buy It Direct Group gets to know its customers, while we also report as Travel Portland becomes one of the first retailers to use new insight tools from lastminute.com group.

We cover a variety of approaches in today’s newsletter – but what they all have in common is the push to give shoppers that added something that not only makes the sale but encourages satisfied customers to return in future. Every retailer may do this differently but in a highly competitive market, giving shoppers those extras may make the difference between trading profitably, or not.

Today’s guest comment comes from Aron Caplan and Andy Hawkes of Indicia, who focus on tackling abandoned baskets.

The Tamebay Ecommerce Cup
The Tamebay Ecommerce Cup 2017 will be held on September 7 and five-a-side teams are now being invited to sign up. The tournament, now in its fifth year, is moving to a new venue in Shepherd’s Bush and promises FA refs and a comfy new players’ lounge complete with screens to keep tabs on competitors’ matches.

“We had a total of 26 teams enter last year, and it was great to have both suppliers and retailers competing, with Deliveroo taking the top spot and runners up Uber narrowly missing out,” says Mark Pigou, founder of InternetRetailing Media. “This year promises to be just as competitive.” To enter a team of up to 10 people (five players and five subs), sign up here.

Sponsorship opportunities are limited to three companies: email Joey Evans (joe.evans@tamebay.com) for more.

Webinars
Find out more about upcoming InternetRetailing webinars and register for free on the InternetRetailing webinar page. You can also catch up with past webinars on the page: recent sessions have come from IBM Watson on using AI to improve the customer experience, and from SmartFocus and The Entertainer on using social to reach digital customers.

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