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Top UK retailers earn leading position due to better customer service, report highlights

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The recently published RetailX UK 360° report has found that the Top100 retailers in the UK are the ones more likely to engage with shoppers.

When compared to the Top500, these leading readers forge ahead by offering newsletter sign-ups, providing a wishlist and allowing customers to save a shopping cart that can be accessed from another device. These all make it easier for retailers to offer a multichannel shopping experience. While relatively few offer live chat, this is twice as common among the Top100 as among the Top500.

Sustainability is an increasingly important part of RetailX retailer assessment. Introducing a product recycling scheme is the step that Top500 retailers are most likely to have taken – 23% of the Top500 have done so, rising to 44% among Top100 retailers.

By product category, those selling consumer electronics (+3 percentage points (pp) to 32% in 2024) and homewares (+2pp to 29%) have most often introduced these schemes, followed by those selling fashion clothing (2pp to 22%). 17% have put a repair scheme in place, rising to 48% of the Top100. Enabling shoppers to rent a product instead of buying is also more common among the Top100 (27%) than the Top500 (9%).

Leading UK multichannel retailers tend to offer their customers a seamless service across retail touchpoints when it comes to fulfilment. Most of the RetailX Top100 UK retailers, brands and marketplaces enable online shoppers to order online to collect in a store (56%), for next-day delivery (53%), and/or to return an order they placed online to a shop (58%). Relatively few however, offer same-day delivery, with only 4% doing so.

Most retailers offer free delivery, although only when shoppers spend a minimum amount (51%). A smaller 17% of retailers offer free delivery on all orders.

UK shoppers who buy from online retailers have, by law, a minimum of 14 days in which to return an item if they change their mind. Retailers only have to offer one way of returning goods, yet many offer flexibility and choice, reflecting ConsumerX research that finds shoppers value flexible returns. The most common way to be able to return an item is by post, with 66% of the Top100 providing this option. 58% offer instore returns, while 34% will arrange to pick up the return from the shopper’s home.

This is one feature in our our first UK 360° report, which brings together the three central strands of RetailX research:

  • the ecommerce market
  • consumer behaviour
  • retail performance through the RetailX Top100 list

The report offers a briefing on the UK market as a whole, on how shoppers buy and want to buy, on the retailers, brands and marketplaces that are succeeding in this market, and the services that the most successful provide to their customers.

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