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From the editor-in-chief – March 2017

WELCOME TO THE latest IRUK Top500 Brand Engagement Performance Dimension Report. At a time when customers are taking the lead in the way they communicate and interact with retail brands, it makes sense that the way retailers respond is also changing. Indeed, it’s important that they do so in order for them to remain relevant to the shoppers they serve.

In this Dimension Report we’re looking in depth at where brand engagement is now. We start with the hard data produced by the InternetRetailing research team, working with InternetRetailing Knowledge Partners. They have analysed how retailers set about communicating with customers and gone on to measure how responsive they are when those customers get in touch. From that, we aim to draw real insights into what makes for successful brand engagement, looking at how leading IRUK Top500 retailers develop strategies that enable them to be both engaging and responsive as they open and develop two-way conversations. By being present where customers expect them to be, they encourage shopper loyalty among that group of customers that is most likely to spread the word across social channels. That, in turn, raises brand awareness.

But our focus here is primarily on painting a picture of what is happening, rather than exploring theoretical possibilities. That’s why we take a highly practical approach to measuring brand engagement and customer service across channels, illustrated by interviews and real-life case study examples of what works for the stand-out retailers in this Dimension, as well as across the Top500.

This Dimension Report is the first based on IRUK Top500 2017 research. Five more will follow over the year, focusing on Strategy & Innovation, Merchandising, Operations & Logistics, Mobile & Cross-channel and The Customer. As here, in order to share that knowledge with others, we’ll be working with Knowledge Partners whose generous input we value highly as we seek to establish the approaches that are working for leading retailers in each Dimension. As always, we want to hear what our readers think, whether you have views on the metrics we’ve used, how they could be improved, or if you have an innovative approach that’s working for you as a retail professional. Please do share your thoughts.

Ian Jindal


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