Currys employ the best digital promotions strategy among the UK’s top 20 online retailers, closely followed by Thomas Cook and Boots, according to a new benchmark report.
The study, from RapidCampaign, found that across the 20 retailers, the most common promotion type was competitions, with 17 out of 20 using this mechanism to engage customers. It was followed by vouchers and coupons, which were used by 15. However very few were employing surveys or more interactive promotions, missing an opportunity to engage customers and drive further sales.
RapidCampaign’s ‘From Promotion to Purchase’ report benchmarked the promotions strategy of the UK’s top 20 online retailers, analysing the promotion types exploited and channels used for distribution, looking at aspects such as regularity, variety, mobile optimisation, personlisation and how compelling promotions are. The benchmark was based on consumer research recently conducted by RapidCampaign that revealed the promotions online shoppers are really looking for in retailer promotions, with a view to comparing how retailers deliver against that.
Electronics retailer Currys came out on top, scoring highly (73%) for a wide range of promotions across a number of touch points. Currys deploys a smart promotions strategy with a keen sense of unification across multiple channels, such as interactive competitions which are social media led, but hosted on its website and shared via email.
Conversely, two major UK retails have some room for improvement, telephony giant O2 and online fashion retailer Asos, both scored poorly with 18% and 6% respectively. Asos was the poorest promotion performer, focussing instead on aspirational style content on its social, web and email channels.
The voucher code or coupon is the most popular kind of promotion as far as consumers are concerned, and the majority of top retailers appear to be alert to this. A voucher code offers an immediate incentive to purchase and doesn’t limit a potential customer in their buying choice. Only five of the online retailers scored failed to offer any form of voucher code or coupon.
Only eight out of 20 retailers shared promotions in email, the lowest of any channel despite the fact that this is the most popular channel with consumers. 12 of the 20 retailers use promotions on their websites, interesting considering this is the second top channel for consumers, a third (34%) of whom want to find retailer promotions on the retailer’s site.
Marko Luhtala, CEO of RapidCampaign commented on the findings, stating: “In the current consumer landscape, your customers have a huge breadth of choice available to them, and it is increasingly harder to convince them to buy. It is persuasive and innovative promotions strategies that have the power to cut through the noise and ultimately make the biggest difference to a retailers’ bottom line. But getting the basics right is vital. In another recent report we detailed the consumer preference for receiving promotions via email as a basic requirement – it is disappointing to see over half of the UK’s top 20 retailers falling at this basic hurdle.”
Scores from the leading 20 retailers varied from 73% to a poor 6%, with an overall average of 43%, indicating there is significant room for improvement for retailers to live up to customer expectations.
The top five performing retailers are:
1. Currys – 73%
2. Thomas Cook – 71%
3. Boots – 68%
4. Asda – 67%
5. Sports Direct – 63%