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TopShop – Retail review – IRM50, January 2015

As customers and retailers look across all touchpoints rather than siloed channels, so IR retailer reviews look at the entire retailer’s eco-system of website, mobile, the use of digital in store and their overall strategy. Longer in-depth analysis of the four areas can be viewed online at This issue our reviewers examine Topshop .


Emma Robertson,

Managing Director, Transform

There are a number of strands to the Topshop strategy; they revolve around winning in fashion, expanding internationally and driving digital. From an outside-in perspective, it seems clear that Arcadia is much more comfortable in the product and place elements of the mix whereas the customer experience and digital agenda have some catching up to do. Taking Click & Collect for example, the inability of Topshop to see its store stock and manage single-pick inventory into store efficiently results in a poor customer proposition, with the standard collect-from-store offer coming with an imprecise 3-7 day delivery window. Arcadia’s £50m deal with Oracle is well placed but given the size of the group and the scale of ambition internationally, this will need to be the first investment of many if Topshop is to compete in the medium to long-term, and focus equal resources on front-end, data and customer experience, not just back-end systems. Until Topshop put the customer experience at the heart of the digital experience, it will continue to miss out on the full potential of the market.


Gayle Whittaker, User Experience Consultant, User Vision

The Topshop website is an effective ecommerce site that is compelling and functional. The site communicates a strong brand image that expresses the personality of their target users, which guides them effortlessly through the site from browsing to purchasing.

MOBILE 13/25

Rob Thurner,

Managing Partner, Burner Mobile

The new mobile site was launched mid November, so it’s early days. The impact has been immediate, with mobile site average order value increasing nearly 5% post launch. Topshop estimates that the average time spent on the mobile site is at least 20% less than on desktop or tablet, so speed and agility is fundamental to the shopping experience. The product and checkout parts are sound. I’m sure that the increase in AOV would increase significantly with revisions to Search & Navigation.


Reeta McGinn,

Consulting Manager, Javelin Group

Digital in store at Topshop really lags its competitors. Promising signage advertises in-store ordering (for next day collection); however consumers are simply asked to order at an information desk, queuing up to use a single manned terminal. A small number of iPad toting store assistants give the look of a more technology-enabled process, but across four visits to different stores we were consistently advised that the system and the in-store Wi-Fi was not working. Topshop’s app, allowing customers to scan the barcode of products to add to their online basket or share on social media, also struggled with some items and a sample of store assistants were unaware of its existence.

However, the Oxford Street flagship has a more exciting digital offering including oversized iPads that give consumers the chance to design a T-shirt and an in-store photo booth to share latest looks on social media. Topshop is also using digital for one off store events such as virtual reality entry to London Fashion Week’s catwalks and live streaming of the Kate Moss launch.

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