Top500 2021: Strategy and Innovation

Following a year of social distancing, online shopping and awkward Zoom parties, the RetailX UK Top500 report takes a look at where retail is today.

Our analysis is category-specific so that retailers can benchmark themselves against the leading companies in the UK, as well take tips on the best practises that have worked in the in one of most mature ecommerce markets in the world.

Retailers that stand out in the Strategy & Dimension category are those who have adopted emerging technologies early and prioritised the tools that have a positive impact on their ecommerce and multichannel strategies. 

Carry on reading for an overview of the tools and strategies leading retailers in this category have adopted and how these ideas could help improve your business. 

To what extent do retailers support international ecommerce? 

After cross-border sales in 2020 increased by 57% year-on-year, according to figures from cross-border platform provider Global-e, we decided to place a particular focus on the extent to which websites that sell in the UK market are adapting to international customers. 

The more localised an ecommerce website, the more likely international shoppers will buy from it. Here are some of the key steps UK retailers and marketplaces are taking in order to support international shoppers. Take note! 

  • Currencies: One in five retailers (22%) enable shoppers to choose which currency they can pay in, while 41% of marketplace sites give the choice. 
  • Selecting country: Marketplaces take the lead with 37% offering a choice of languages in which the shopper can view the website, compared to a mere 12% of retailers. 
  • Language: In 2020, most retailers (51%) enable shoppers to select the country they are buying from in order to have a more localised experience. However, marketplaces (78%) and brands (72%) are most likely to enable this. 

How do retailers ease the buying process? 

Ask yourself whether you’re making it easy for customers to buy. That may sound obvious, but are the checkout pages you’re using making it difficult for shoppers to get through? Below are some simple steps you can take to make the purchasing journey easier for your customers. 

  • Wish lists: Wish lists are an easy and effective way to encourage purchases. 57% of retailers and 74% of marketplaces in the UK offer a save later feature in 2021. 
  • Payments: Shoppers with registered details can buy with a single click on 16% of Top500 sites. That’s down by 6pp from 22% in 2020. Don’t make this mistake – ensure your regular customers can get their order on its way at the click of a button! 
  • Checking store stock: How irritating is it when you’re just about to click the checkout button and BAM! “Sorry this item is no longer available” pops up on your screen and ruins your day? Only in five (20%) of the 435 retailers that have stores and were measured in both 2021 and 2020 enable shoppers to check store stock from their websites. An informed customer is a happy customer – so double check your website for this useful feature. 

All this information is based on the RetailX UK Top500 report which you can read in full here for more useful insight into how to stay ahead in the UK’s hypercompetitive ecommerce market.


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