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Methodology: Metrics

Our research covered five areas:

Footprint: calculated by measuring UK retail turnover, the ecommerce subset of this turnover, UK web traffic and the number of UK stores.

Search: the extent to which retailers demonstrate expertise in search and navigation, social media and product visibility, and offering clear product information.

Mobile: the extent to which retailers demonstrate an understanding of mobile user experience, multichannel capabilities, and whether they have mobile apps.

Delivery: measuring speed and cost of delivery, the flexibility of fulfilment and returns, and click-and-collect services.

Social: measuring whether retailers enable customers to leave feedback and reviews, their presence and interaction on social networks, and whether they offer third-party login and checkout.


We’ve ranked the UK Growth 2000 in statistically similar groups. Top retailers have performed to an exceptional level across all areas of research, statistically separate from the subsequent clusters. The top Growth 2000 retailers of 2018 are listed as the Top50 on page eight. The retailers, combining both size (‘Footprint’) and capability, represent the leading edge of retail companies in the UK outside of the Top500, which we published in January.

Top150 retailers include the next 100 retailers in the list and represent the best-practice level for retailers of their size in ecommerce and multichannel retailing, exemplifying RetailCraft at its best.

Between the Top150 and Top2000, retailers are grouped in a way that expresses their measured performance in a way that goes beyond their variation in size, reach and turnover. Throughout the year ahead, we will continue our testing and measurement of the whole group, with our findings contributing to the 2019 ranking.


Our current research and ranking system started with IRUK Top500 in 2015. Since then, research methods and metrics have developed steadily. The Growth 2000 assessment has been specially configured to capture the growth potential of companies – measuring their ability to deliver core functionality and to roll out more advanced features normally practised by larger retailers. It’s likely that in the next few years, the most succesful retailers in the Growth 2000 will feature in the InternetRetailing UK Top500.


We could not have done this research without the generous advice and practical help of our Knowledge Partners. We thank BuiltWith for tracking the Top500’s websites and providing information on the software used, such as ecommerce platform and payment methods; and Eggplant for measuring the performance and load times of Top500 websites on mobile and desktop browsers. We used SimilarWeb’s global traffic monitoring service for data on the visits and interaction that Top500 websites receive.

We thank them all for their knowledge and hard work in approaching this project and look forward to sharing more findings based on their research.

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