AS WE START 2017, 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, 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.
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.
Throughout the year, we’ll continue to analyse our findings and present them in more detail in a series of six Top500 Performance Dimension Reports that combine deep understanding with tried-and-tested practical approaches. We will also continue to update our website with periodic indices that track the activities of market leaders, including the Product and Merchandising Tracker and the Web Performance Tracker.
The year ahead will see us deliver our first true analyses of retail markets beyond Europe, where we will apply the same data-driven insight.
We’re always interested, too, in new suggestions as to how we can extend our research to continually improve the quality of findings.