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IRUK Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

IRUK Top500 The Customer Report: 2018

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Europe’s Top Brands

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The InternetRetailing Brand Index names the elite and leading brands in Europe



ADIDAS , APPLE , CLARKS , Missguided , New Look and Nike are the Elite brands in Europe, according to the InternetRetailing Brand Index 2018, published in association with Rakuten Marketing. These brands, selling goods from fashion, sportwear and shoes to computers and mobile phones, make up the top group of this year’s list, which brings together the leading names currently selling their own-label goods direct to European customers.

The Brand Index names the largest 250 brands selling across 32 countries – the European Economic Area plus Switzerland. It goes on to list the Top100 in an assessment based on their retail performance across the six InternetRetailing Performance Dimensions: Strategy & Innovation, The Customer, Operations & Logistics, Merchandising, Brand Engagement and Mobile & Cross-channel. The Elite group heads this list, followed by 15 Leading brands, including Ugg , Jack Wills , Nespresso and Hotel Chocolat . The analysis goes on to consider which are the main target markets within Europe for the Top100 brands and to analyse the performance of brands through case studies. This year’s list comes at a time when what it means to be a brand is changing quickly.

No longer do brands depend entirely on the third-party retailers that have historically presented brands’ products to their own customers. Rather, those shoppers, enabled by the internet and related technologies, are now choosing to go beyond their local store to buy products that they trust from names they recognise. Shoppers have bought direct from brands such as Clarks and Apple over many years and now a significant number are choosing to take a step further and buy direct from the other brands that matter to them.

This presents both a challenge and an opportunity for brands. The challenge comes when companies used to selling directly and in bulk to retailers have to adapt to sell those items directly, one at a time, maintaining both the website and the logistics that support them. As many retailers have before them, some brands are choosing to outsource this job to retailers that already have the logistics and systems in place. Brands may not see most of their trade come via the direct channel – and indeed that’s just how many will want it – but in offering this option they are giving shoppers the chance to buy direct if they wish. By doing so, they also stand to benefit by developing relationships with and understanding of the shoppers that buy from them.

By enabling shopper feedback, whether in the form of reviews, ratings or over social media, brands can find out from those that shop with them what it is about their products that works, and how they might be improved. Doing so can give them a new way to approach the future, confident in the knowledge that their products are still meeting customers’ needs.

Ultimately, it’s by engaging with their customers that brands will best understand how their business should develop in a new connected era of commerce. The brands highlighted in the Top100 of the InternetRetailing Brand Index 2018 are successfully doing just that.

• Download the InternetRetailing Brand Index 2018 at internetretailing.net/irbx
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