The InternetRetailing UK Top500 (IRUK Top500) is published today, providing a uniquely detailed and analytical look at the UK retail landscape. The report is made up of six Performance Dimensions, which allow the research and analysis to evaluate retailers’ overall performance in a way that matters, and reflects reality, rather than merely ranking them in terms of size or revenue growth. Those dimensions are: the customer, operations & logistics; merchandising, brand engagement, mobile & cross channel, and strategy & innovation.
By doing this, the IRUK Top500 finds out from high-performing retailers what best practice means and what it looks like in this highly competitive market, plus how it can be fostered and encouraged in other businesses across the industry.
Seven retailers have been named as Elite by the report, with 20 others making up the Leading cluster. Their details can be found in the full report along with a full breakdown of each of the dimensions.
For the purposes of eDelivery, it is the operations & logistics dimension that is of greatest interest.
The operations & logistics dimension starts from the premise that most retailers use other someone else’s logistics. Those that have taken large-scale third-party logistics and turned them into compelling offers that meet brand promises perform better in the context of this dimension.
Fashion retailer Next leads the way in the operations & logistics dimension for its consistent performance across delivery, collection and returns. Its logistics capabilities have been well honed over a sustained period of time in order to stand out from the competition.
Martin Shaw, senior InternetRetailing researcher, says: “A lot of retailers really nailed delivery and others really nailed returns – Next was the only one to be great at both.”
Sainsbury’s performs well for the delivery promises it makes for both grocery and non-food products. It stands out for one-hour timed delivery slots and for a market- leading returns policy that offers a full refund for up to 12 months on non-perishable items, while a partial refund is available after 12 months. Watch that space to see how its proposed acquisition of Argos might play out in this dimension next year.
It’s not news to readers of eDelivery that delivery and shipping has been a firm focus for Amazon in recent years, as it’s something we’ve covered in numerous stories on the site. While Amazon was strongest among all retailers in InternetRetailing’s assessment of delivery services and equal top for collection, it was overtaken by rivals on returns. One customer-pleasing service that it offers in this area is the ability for customers to check the status of refunds that are in the system.
The IRUK Top500 2016 will be available via this link. We will also look at the importance of delivery and collection tomorrow, and which retailers the IRUK Top500 identified as performing well in those areas, as well as some of the headline stats concerning delivery and collection services.