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Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking

Strategic thinking

Brands that offer their customers joined-up services rate highly in this Dimension

Shoppers see localised websites that meet their needs wherever they live within Europe when they buy from Leading brands in the Strategy & Innovation Dimension.

InternetRetailing researchers approached this Dimension through measures they considered innovative and market-leading. They analysed brands’ deployment of services that make a real difference to shoppers as they buy from different markets within the European Single Market.

These include click and collect, a localised website experience presented in a local language and a choice of payment methods and currencies. Researchers also considered performance-related metrics, investigating such things as whether the brand’s app had bugs or if a search with no results yielded a blank page or alternative content. This latter research approach favours those brands that offer an alternative to a blank page since this is more likely to retain a shopper’s attention, rather than them moving to another site to find and buy the item they were searching for.

What the Top100 do: by geography

UK brands stood out as the most competitive in this Dimension, ahead of those based in Switzerland, Austria, The Netherlands, Belgium and Spain. Brands from these markets were more likely to perform consistently well across measures, offering click-and-collect services and localising their websites to make it easy for shoppers from other markets to buy.

English is also the language that international brands are most likely to localise to, used by 95% of the Top100 brands. The next most likely language is French, followed by German, Italian and Dutch. Just a handful of Top100 brands have localised to use Icelandic or Catalan.

More than 90% of the Top100 have a local UK landing page, followed by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. Only 1-2% of Top100 brands have local pages for Malta and Cyprus.

The Euro and Pound are the most popular currencies, with both supported by more than 80% of the Top100. The Swedish, Danish, Polish, Swiss and Czech currencies are supported by more than 10% of the Top100.

What the Top100 do: strategic innovation

More than three quarters (78) of the Top100 brands offer click and collect services within the Single Market.

Focusing on payments, the average Top100 brand enables shoppers to choose between two or three currencies (2.4) when paying, and to choose between three languages when browsing the website. The average brand website is localised to four member states within the EEA. That means, for the purposes of this research, that it has a local landing page or local section of the website, as well as local delivery options.

54 of the Top100 offer alternative results when they do not have the product that the user is looking for. Those alternatives include flagging up related products or referring users to a third-party website, thus monetising traffic that cannot be served directly on the website. The remaining 46 show a blank search page.

Finally, 21 of the Top100 companies offer a competitive service via their mobile apps, since those apps have no serious bugs. Of the remainder, 27 have apps with serious bugs, while 49 have no apps at all.

Brands trading in the sports and leisure and consumer electronics sector have the edge when it comes to innovation. They proved to be ahead, on average, of those selling general fashion and apparel.

Leading brands in this Dimension include Lego, Swarovski, Adidas, Samsung and Bose. All stood out for consistently implementing innovative retail practices and having a distributed offering across the Single Market. Adidas leads on web metrics. Bose stands out for its mobile-optimised website.

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