PUTTING TOGETHER THE first InternetRetailing Top500 has been fascinating. By taking an analytical approach to the UK’s ecommerce and multichannel industry, we’ve come up with findings that have challenged our assumptions at every turn. We’ve seen at first hand the strategies retailers are adopting to take a lead in a competitive marketplace.
While some companies offer seven different types of delivery, others are moving warehouses to enable ever-later order times. Some are focusing on site performance, while others are actively engaging customers through social media. InternetRetailing’s in-house team, working with researchers from our knowledge partners, has thrown new light on the industry, helping us to a far clearer view of what’s happening here.
We hope our findings have been as interesting for you, our readers, as they have for us, and that you’ve discovered something you didn’t know before. But this is only a start. Our work doesn’t stop here. This year we’ve sketched the baseline for UK ecommerce and cross-channel. This is a starting point for a project that will develop and gain in depth with each passing year. Over the course of the next 12 months we’ll be considering each of our Performance Dimensions in a series of six special reports.
This work will in turn build and inform a new and updated IRUK Top500 to be published in 2016. As our research gets ever-more accurate and sophisticated, we expect it will become a predictive model capable of pinpointing the aspects that retailers can focus on as companies look to improve future performance.
Over the coming year we’ll also be broadening the scope of our investigations. The IREU Top500 will be published in March, evaluating the leading retailers from across the 32 member states of the European Economic Area. Next summer, it will be the turn of leading suppliers to take the limelight.
With this UK Top500 report, InternetRetailing has started on a journey to find out how ecommerce and multichannel functions at its best. We hope that you’ll join us on the journey.
Chloe Rigby and Jonathan Wright
Co-editors, InternetRetailing Research Report
[caption id="attachment_68511" align="aligncenter" width="462"] Click to see what else is happening at InternetRetailing Expo 2015[/caption]
THIS COMPREHENSIVE REPORT is just the beginning. Its insights will only deepen. We are already looking to hone and expand data points following feedback from retailers and our Advisory Board. In the coming year we will pay special attention to movement in the Index as the dynamic retail sector flexes and grows – improving the algorithms that turn data into Index values.
Along with Chloe and Jonathan, the Research Team will release ‘deep dives’ into performance in each dimension. These bi-monthly supplements will equip retailers with knowledge and examples of how to catch up to, embed and develop leading practice. Future editions will illustrate how retailers pivot from leading to best.
The ultimate prize is to build a predictive model based on our research – it would indicate, for example, what the optimal level of social media engagement is for a mid-sized stationery retailer. Time will tell how successful we are, so stay tuned!
In the short term we have IREU, the European Top500 Footprint, due out at InternetRetailing Expo in March 2015. Suppliers to the Top500 will follow closely behind. We welcome feedback. Please send any queries, criticisms or recommendations to me at researchATinternetretailing.net and don’t forget to watch this space at internetretailing.net/iruk
Senior Researcher, InternetRetailing