Topshop, Wallis and Miss Selfridge, high street brands under the UK fashion fascia Arcadia Group, have managed to snag the top three spots in the European omnichannel fashion survey conducted by management consultancy firm Kurt Salmon, outperforming fashion brands from France and Germany. Topshop managed to keep its top spot for a second year in a running, a remarkable feat as last year's survey only covered the UK.
The survey, which ranked over 100 fashion companies in the UK, France and Germany, scored each individual based on their performance in four sectors: online, mobile, social and cross-channel. Although none of the companies surveyed managed to excel in all areas, two UK brands did achieve the highest scores for online and social, which were Jack Wills and Selfridges respectively. Etam from France was named the top cross channel fashion brand and Marc O'Polo from Germany best mobile.
UK fashion brands outperform Germany and France in omnichannel survey
"Cross-channel execution is still presenting the greatest challenge in all markets. Retailers are not sufficiently integrating their bricks-and-mortar assets into the omnichannel shopping journey," commented Sarah Davis, head of Kurt Salmon’s UK digital practice. "This is increasingly leaving consumers struggling to get hold of the products and shopping experiences they want, resulting in lost sales."
Providing consumers with consistency between e-commerce, imagery, promotions, services and in-store visuals are some of the most difficult sectors for retailers to achieve. Only five of the UK retailers to participate in the survey successfully managed to communicate the order, delivery and collection services they offered within their stores, and just 13 retailers equipped their sales associates with the tools they needed to offer a personalized, seamless omnichannel customer engagement.
"Shoppers are having a more meaningful interaction with the brand online than with retailers’ own staff, putting the store channel at risk for the future," adds Davis. Although the UK ranked the top of the survey with the most mature omnichannel presence, it still lags behind France and Germany in regards to the online visibility of store stock, with less than 30 percent of UK retailers providing stock-checking functionality from their e-commerce sites.
"Shoppers want near instant gratification. Retailers could achieve this if they provided a single view of their stock and were able to advise a customer about whether it’s worth venturing in store to try and buy a garment," explains Davis. Another area of the survey where UK brands underperforms is the offering of omnichannel loyalty programmes. Just over a third of the retailers surveyed were able to support the same loyalty scheme across multiple channels.
"Consumers want to be recognised and rewarded regardless of the purchasing channel. As the choices of who they shop with proliferate and pure-players up their game in terms of fulfillment, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers and wholesale brands need to think hard about how to incentivise their customers to spend more across the range of channels made available to them," concludes Davis.