We’re delighted to introduce our latest issue of Internet Retailing UK Top500 2018 report. For the fourth year, our research team assessed leading UK ecommerce and multichannel retailers from a unique performance-based perspective.
Over four years that the IRUK Top500 index has been published, just ten companies were identified as Elite retailers including Amazon, Argos, Boots, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis, Screwfix, Tesco, House of Fraser and Asda.
In 2018 they are Amazon, Argos, Boots, Marks & Spencer, Screwfix and Tesco, serving an exemplary guide for retailers who are eager to learn from the best. RetailX, the Internet Retailing research team, judged the elite retail leaders by the criteria that have developed over four years. Over that time the bar has raised, and standards that were regarded as cutting-edge have moved firmly mainstream.
Martin Shaw, head of research, RetailX, said: “Part of this change and churn across both groups comes are a result of the continually evolving focus of this index on ‘RetailCraft’. What it means to be Elite changes every year, most notably in the metrics considered in the Strategy and Innovation Performance Dimension."
He added: "The change is also a reflection of the close-finish nature of this ‘race’. Retailers who are contenders for Elite and Leading are all innovating to some extent and they’re usually large companies that can afford to try out a lot of the newer technologies and practices sooner than others. You will notice, however, smaller companies that punch above their weight and rub shoulders with the others.”
The report stands apart because it goes beyond a ranking based simply on retailer’s revenues, store networks or web traffic, but focuses instead on their performance across our six Performance Dimensions: Strategy & Innovation, The Customer, Merchandising, Brand Engagement, Operation & Logistics and Mobile & Cross-channel.
Ian Jindal, editor-in-chief of InternetRetailing said: "[In this report] we look at emerging technologies, watching to see where and how they are adopted. We also look at those approaches that retailers are starting to leave behind as their business mature and change."
Jindal continued: "Our aim is to understand what it is that leading retailers do that work for their business, and how others can learn from this in order to boost their own their own business for the future."
Analysis was carried out with the assistance of Knowledge Partners Brand View , BuiltWith , Geoblink , Hitwise [RDX VEXH] Edited , NCC Group , Poq , Return Path and SimilarWeb .
Brand View contributed to a broad range of data on the Top500’s price strategies and information the retailers provide on product pages. BuildWith tracked the Top500’s websites and provided insight on the software used; such as ecommerce platform and payment methods and measured apparel retailer’s product sell-through as well as discounting strategies and stock turnover. Geoblink provided its dataset on the location of physical stores and the demographics of people who live nearby.
Then, Hitwise shared data on interaction and the demographics of visitors, and NCC Group measured the performance and load times of Top500 on mobile and desktop browsers. Poq researched the features and capabilities of the Top500’s mobile apps. Return Path measured the email interaction that retailers enjoy, including how often they sent emails, and open, deletion, and marked-as-spam rates of those campaigns. At last, SimilarWeb shared the visits and interaction that Top retailers receive.
Much of this analysis that goes into understanding which names makes up the UK leading retailers comes from the UK context. As Internet Retailing research extends to other geographies, researchers will be looking to see how far interest in retailers trading in those geographies extends. Certainly, it seems from work to understand other global markets, such as the RetailX ASEAN Top500 and the RetailX Australia Top250, that some of the same names reappear.
Click here to download the Internet Retailing UK Top500 2018 report to find out more about the top players in the retail game.