Mastering multichannel: The top 10 retailers redefining delivery

With 27% of retail sales now taking place online, more than a quarter of products sold in the UK are now delivered or collected – and fulfillment has become a defining factor in customer experience.

Online shopping is driven by convenience for more than half (55%) of consumers, and Retail Connections polled 1,000 UK shoppers to find out which retailers who perform the best when it comes to delivery.

Looking at retailers ten through to four – as voted by the customer –  we reveal why multichannel and mobile are key to their success.

10. Superdrug

  • Online sales grew 47% over the Christmas period
  • Superdrug’s Doctor service allows medicine to be ordered via the retailer’s website and then delivered to a UK address

Currently focused on the secure distribution of medicines, Superdrug aims to become the number one destination for prescription services online. The retailer saw this offering achieve sales of £1m in the month of December, highlighting the potential to grow further through additional relevant services. Superdrug plans to boost its offer by “extending products, delivery options and in-store accessibility to make it easier for customers to access products and advice”.

9. Topshop

  • Online sales up nearly 24% in 2015
  • Click and collect currently has an imprecise 3 to 7 day delivery window

In 2015, as part of an effort to radically improve its delivery options and stock management, Arcadia announced a £50m deal with Oracle through to 2017. This overhaul of its digital systems will focus on global inventory and warehouse systems, as well as ranging and merchandising. It currently faces issues including a lack of stock search function from the store, and problems with single pick inventory. This problem is not unique to Topshop, though, with most fast fashion brands such as Primark, H&M and Zara having equally unreliable online fulfillment offers.

Topshop has a strong online brand across all its offerings, and is working on joining up ordering, browsing and sharing across web, mobile, apps and social platforms.

8. Sports Direct

  • Only 10% of sales are online
  • Click-and-collect and streamlined checkouts launched in 2015
  • 20% of all online orders are collected

Sports Direct plans to roll out click-and-collect across other UK Group websites, as well as introducing new payment systems including Ideal, Giro and Sofort. It will be updating all websites with a fast pay checkout solution, allowing customers to purchase a large number of products in a small number of clicks.

7. New Look

  • Digital estate is growing by 42% YOY
  • 28% of online orders are picked up in store

With its partnership model, New Look has embraced multichannel in the broadest sense. Rather than limiting its products to New Look operated digital sites, it has built a “co-opetition” model. Knowing its market is a young one, New Look has looked to mobile to grow sales, but is also retailing through other digital retailers, including ASOS, La Mode, and Smart Buy. This decision expands the retailer from a presence in 24 countries to over 195 through its partnerships.

6. House of Fraser

  • 4% of all sales made online
  • Online sales on Black Friday 2015 were up nearly 70 per cent on the chain’s previous largest online sales day
  • The website is its most profitable store

Looking at its strengths and brand loyalty benefits, House of Fraser launched a multi-channel strategy in 2015 designed to get closer to the customer. Experiencing strong online sales, it looked to bring the customer back in-store with a new click and collect options.

5. Boots

  • Operates 4,565 pharmacy-led health and beauty retail stores in eight countries
  • Retail brand in the UK, Thailand, Norway, the Republic of Ireland and The Netherlands, Mexico, Chile

In the UK market, Boots is developing new pharmacy and omnichannel offerings which will integrate collection in-store, with a strong mobile presence , a new dedicated loyalty app and new In-store tech. With key targets to develop new services based on personalisation and expert care, its strategy is built around easy and seamless access for all of its customers’ health and beauty needs

4. Debenhams

  • Online sales rose 12.1% in 2015
  • Click-and-collect orders account for a third of online revenues

Debenhams has historically handled fulfillment in-house, but in 2015 it announced a partnership with JDA Software and IBM. However, it is currently facing problems with delivery – for example, some shoppers who select the ‘pick up in store’ option might need to visit multiple store locations to complete their entire order. The retailer is looking for a solution to improve processes around click & collect, minimise the cost of returns and boost inventory management.

So, who are the kings of collection? Click here for the top 3.

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