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Retail leads ranking of UK’s digital leaders

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

26 Jan 2021


UK retail is the top industry sector for digital maturity for the first time, with nine out of the top ten spots in the list being retailers, according to a new report by management and technology consultancy, BearingPoint.

The ‘UK Digital Leaders Study 2021’ report reveals that Ocado is the most digitally enabled in the sector, followed by Curry’s PC World, Asos, Marks and Spencer, and Argos. With retailers, John Lewis, Tesco, Boohoo and Zara also featuring in the top ten.

Amongst the fashion retailers, the report highlighted that digital product experience was a strength, however, there remains significant potential for digital growth and development, particularly with electronic customer relationship management (e-CRM) and Augmented Reality (AR).

The report states that the fashion retail sectors e-CRM score were low and expanding customer propositions to include live-chat support and call services would help. In the luxury space, this includes developments in clienteling with personalised customer service. The best-performing fashion retailers in terms of e-CRM were John Lewis, Zalando and Marks and Spencer, all ranking in the top ten.

In addition, it adds that fashion retailers should also explore using AR to showcase products with avatars and sizing guidance, “this technology not only enhances the customer experience but also reduces retailer returns”.

Asos leads the way in digital marketing, according to a new report from BearingPoint

Although UK companies scored an unsatisfactory average score of 2.6 for digital marketing, the study found that Asos, with a score of 4.01, was the best performing company in this dimension. The report adds that Asos also has a display advertising score of 4.67, far greater than that of other companies. This score it states is due to Asos’ cross-channel approach by using several paid and organic channels to promote the brand and product range.

Closely behind Asos in the top ten companies for digital marketing was Boohoo with a score of 3.64, followed by Ocado, John Lewis, and Morrisons.

Stuart Higgins, partner at BearingPoint, said in a statement: “Retailers lead the way on digital maturity in the study, dominating the top 10, and boasting the digital leader for the UK in the ranks. However, 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.

“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 globally competitive. Our study found a number of under-utilised aspects of digital marketing including display advertising, Search Engine Optimisation and Pay-per-Click, which are independently complex processes.”

The BearingPoint ‘Digital Leaders Study 2021’ analysed 390 companies across seven different industries. The report evaluated the companies’ maturity in their digital customer interaction based on 239 criteria in four digital dimensions: digital marketing, digital product experience, e-commerce and e-CRM.

Image: courtesy of Asos