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From the editor-in-chief – August 2017

WELCOME TO THE first IREU Top500 The Customer Performance Dimension Report in which we aim to analyse and understand the customer experiences of leading European retail brands through our ongoing research.

In this report, we take the rule to Top500 retailers’ customer service and measure how responsive retailers trading across the markets of the European Economic Area, plus Switzerland, are to those who visit their websites, call or email their contact centres and ultimately buy from them.

We’ve taken a flexible approach to what responsiveness means here. It’s measured not only through the efficiency with which a retailer answers a Facebook or email message but also through the speed at which a desktop or mobile website loads. We also take into account the ease with which visitors can browse a website and find the product they are looking for, how quickly they take delivery and, if required, how easy it is to return an item. In looking at all these factors, we aim to get a real understanding of the full customer experience, which does not start or end at the website but continues through a relationship that can potentially last for years.

We’re also gathering information that we hope will be of real use for retailers who want to benchmark the service that they offer in markets across Europe against that offered by competitors and leaders in the field.

This report is part of the IREU Top500 series of Performance Dimension Reports, which started by identifying the leading Top500 European multichannel and ecommerce retailers before analysing their performance through six performance Dimensions: Strategy & Innovation, Merchandising, Brand Engagement, Operations & Logistics, Mobile & Cross-channel and The Customer. It’s a challenging task, encompassing as it does not one but 32 different markets, with 26 official languages.

The hard data is produced by the InternetRetailing research team in partnership with our valued InternetRetailing Knowledge Partners. Together, they have uncovered fascinating insights into how retailers across the continent are supporting the customer experience.

We hope that our readers will share our interest and find this a useful tool as they look towards a European market that offers high potential rewards alongside the undoubted challenges of doing business there.

We always enjoy hearing from readers about their experience of trading in Europe, as well as their suggestions for how we can improve our research. Do get in touch.

Ian Jindal


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