UK retail brands lead in digital maturity

UK retail is the top industry sector for “digital maturity”, according to research, with nine out of the top ten UK companies being retailers.

Ocado headed the list followed by Currys PC World, ASOS, Marks and Spencer and Argos in the top five.

Management and technology consultancy BearingPoint analysed 390 companies across seven countries, with 79 of them spanning seven different industry sectors in the UK.

The research is based on 239 best practice criteria in four digital dimensions - digital marketing, digital product experience, e-commerce and e-CRM.

The study ranked UK companies second overall for their digital maturity compared to the other countries - the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy and Ireland. The Netherlands was top.

Marks were out of five, and UK companies scored an “unsatisfactory” average score of 2.6 for digital marketing, although the study found that ASOS, with a score of 4.01, was the best performing company in this category.

Stuart Higgins, a partner at BearingPoint, said: “Retailers lead the way on digital maturity in the study, but this is no time for retailers to rest on their laurels with customer expectations evolving at pace - now is the time to double down on digital.”

He added: “Whilst fashion retailers are focusing heavily on the digital product experience there are significant areas for improvement within digital customer service and digital marketing strategy to remain competitive.

“Our study found a number of under-utilised aspects of digital marketing including display advertising, search engine optimisation (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC), which are independently complex processes.”

Currys PC World led in digital product experience and e-commerce, with sales support using chatbots and having a variety of call options helping the brand's ranking.

ShopLive, which enables an online customer to have a video call with a member of staff in-store, was one of the Currys services cited by BearingPoint.

Top ten UK digital leaders marked out of five:

Ocado - 3.56
Currys PC World - 3.51
ASOS - 3.51
Marks and Spencer - 3.46
Argos - 3.45
John Lewis - 3.45
Tesco - 3.42
Boohoo - 3.39
EE (telcos) - 3.38
Zara - 3.37

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