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IRUK Top500 The UK market leaders for retail brand engagement

IRUK Top500 The UK market leaders for retail brand engagement

Amazon, Argos, Debenhams, John Lewis and Next lead the UK market in brand engagement, according to the latest InternetRetailing research.

The InternetRetailing UK (IRUK) Top500 Performance Dimension Report on Brand Engagement, finds that Amazon tops the ranking of the UK’s leading multichannel and ecommerce retailers for the way that it communicates and engages with potential and existing customers.

The report analyses how retailers work to make the first contact with shoppers, through organic search, and then move on to building a long-term relationship, through email marketing, social media and other social media channels.

Amazon stands out in particular for its visibility in search. In more than 300m searches per month conducted by UK shoppers, Amazon features on the first page of results. This level of visibility is mirrored on social media where it has 5.5m Facebook Likes. Argos is highly visible in organic search: its search reach of 52% means than more than half of shoppers searching for products that it sells will see Argos in their results. Its emails are more likely to be read, with 35% of those that it sends opened by recipients.

John Lewis customers value the company’s emails, with a 34% read rate,high even among leading retailers. Next’s highly active social media engagement includes an Instagram account dedicated to menswear, and active engagement through a Facebook account that has 1.5m Likes, at the point of analysis. Debenhams enables its customers to get in touch through eight communication channels, 35% of its emails are opened, and a search reach of 50% reflects high visibility in organic search.

The IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Performance Dimension Report, sponsored by Bronto and PFS , features case studies of the Top5 retailers in this dimension, interviews with Debenhams online trading director Fiona Lay and Pieter Heij, director of multichannel and IT at Dutch luxury department store de Bijenkorf, as well as practical examples from leading retailers who excel in brand engagement. In-depth analysis of research findings shows how best practice retailers succeed in this area – and suggests steps others can take to improve their performance.

This is the first of six reports that will explore the dimensions of the IRUK Top500 2016 in detail. In coming reports, the team will look at what makes a UK leader in merchandising, mobile and cross-channel, operations and logistics, strategy and innovation and customer experience.

InternetRetailing editor-in-chief Ian Jindal says the report analyses in-depth an area of retailcraft that is difficult to measure. “In part, this is a story of using technology in smart ways to help customers find the products they’re looking for. Yet there’s another story here. Retailers that really inspired customer loyalty also tend to emphasise old-fashioned virtues such as great service. Even as retail changes more quickly than ever, and retailers use technology and customer data to help build brand engagement at scale, some things stay the same.”

The Brand Engagement Performance Dimension Report is published this week. Upcoming reports on Merchandising and Mobile & Cross-channel will be published in May.

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