From the editor-in-chief


Welcome to the first InternetRetailing Brand Index, in association with SmartFocus [IRDX VSFO], in which we’re turning our attention to the rise of brands selling direct to consumers.

Brands, which traditionally have focused on supplying their products to retailers, are learning fast from ecommerce and multichannel retailers as to why they should sell direct. They’re realising that a direct relationship with the end consumer is a useful thing to have as, through these relationships, brands can understand who buys their products, how often they do so, how they feel about them, where they like to buy them, how they like to take delivery of them, and what improvements they’d like to see. Each one of these is a powerful insight that can help shape the product for the future.

A direct relationship means that brands engage with shoppers and take a highly active role in presenting their products. In the past, brands have done this through non-transactional websites which focused on information and presentation rather than selling. But when they sense from their data that customers are keen to buy from them, it makes sense that brands should let them do so.

Some brands have always sold directly but since more are now doing so, in this report we analyse the Top100 brands’ performance in this area. We do that through six Performance Dimensions – Strategy & Innovation, The Customer, Mobile & Cross-channel, Operations & Logistics, Merchandising and Brand Engagement.

By sharing our findings, we aim to show what brands are currently doing and what brands new to direct commerce can hope to achieve. We’re looking at best practice and flagging up what the leaders do well.

In doing this, we aim to highlight effective and practical ways of performing at the highest level. We hope it will prove a useful tool for both brands and retailers across Europe as they look at how their peers and colleagues in other countries trade, both as competitors and growth partners.

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Ian Jindal

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