By identifying the largest European multichannel and ecommerce retailers, we’ve achieved the first milestone in our IREU research. We’ve started to measure and test the potential of cross-border ecommerce, counting the number of stores each retailer operates and monitoring the online performance of thousands of traders. We’ve tracked domains and we’ve calculated revenue. In doing so we’ve found an enormous range in the type and size of retailers that operate on the continent, from pan-European grocers such as Tesco and Carrefour right down to the smaller specialist traders that also take their places on the list.
Our work so far is an important prelude to the more detailed analysis that we’ve already begun. In the next stage of our research, we’ll move beyond calculating which retailers are the biggest and the most significant. We’ll start to look in more detail at which provide the best service. We’ll be asking questions around how rapidly merchants respond to customer enquiries, and how quickly and cheaply merchants deliver goods. We’ll assess the ambition of each retailer’s strategy, and approaches to merchandising.
“The next stage of our research looks in detail at the retailers providing the best service”
In the pages that follow, the InternetRetailing expert team of editors sets out their ideas of what we should be measuring through the prism of our six performance dimensions: Strategy and Innovation
; Operations and Logistics
; Brand and Engagement
; and Mobile and Cross-channel
. In the coming months, we will be taking those ideas, adding to them and refining them, and working out which best measure performance. We’ll work from the customer’s point of view, testing services as they are delivered, and checking that what sounds good in theory works in practice. We’ll also use ecommerce insight to measure retailcraft, working in conjunction with our team of Knowledge Partners.
From this work, we’ll produce the IREU 500 Retail Performance Index, in which we aim to draw an accurate and useful picture of the European ecommerce market as it is today. We’ll be looking to assess what lessons ecommerce and multichannel businesses across Europe, and indeed around the world, can learn from these leading cross-channel retailers, and from the services they deliver to customers in one of the most exciting and innovative markets in the world.