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Editor’s comment – Strategy and Innovation Report 2015

Strategic retailers make the most of what they’ve got. These companies move beyond the technical limitations and geographical boundaries of store estates to establish delivery, collection and customer services that give more. These companies strive to meet shoppers’ fast-expanding needs and expectations.

A strategic approach encourages a painstaking approach to detail that means the basics are covered: consumers who use retail websites that are thoroughly thought through and planned out find it easy to browse, buy and pay. But a strategic approach also encourages fresh thinking and new approaches. When traders successfully add innovation to this mix, coming up with new ideas that make very real differences to the way we buy, then we think that’s worthy of recognition.

In the IRUK Top500 Strategy and Innovation Dimension, we pay tribute to the UK ecommerce and cross-channel retailers that have most successfully utilised their resources to deliver industry-leading services to customers.

In this Dimension Report, we look at what retailers are achieving through strategies that deliver innovation, as detailed in our strategic overview. We look, through in-depth case studies, at how top-ranked Elite and Leading retailers, Amazon, Argos, Asda and eBay, have led the way in this Dimension. In this section, we also interview Jack Smith, group digital director at Leading retailer New Look, asking how and why the fashion retailer is making the running in this area. We go on to round up 12 practical approaches taken by retailers of all sizes, initiatives that we judge work.

We believe that explaining how others succeed will help retailers of all sizes to adopt best practice. We’re led by our research findings, which quantify the adoption of practical steps that we judge drive strategic innovation. Our findings are detailed in two features, Analysing the numbers, and Breaking new ground the latter written by InternetRetailing researcher Polina Modenova. Looking ahead, retail consultant Jonathan MacDonald tells us why established retailers and newer entrants to the market alike face huge challenges in the very near future . In this Dimension Report, you’ll also find our detailed rankings for this Dimension, and detailed commentary and insights come from our partners.

We’d like to thank all the Knowledge Partners who have contributed their expertise and insights in both this and previous Dimension Reports. We welcome your thoughts on new areas of research as we add to our primary data and analysis. Please email: and

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