Report finds that UK retailers must prioritise online engagement, as well as in-store and employee experiences this festive season, and beyond
Liverpool, U.K., 8th December 2021 – Reputation, the global leader in Reputation Experience Management (RXM), today unveiled findings from its 2021 Retail Reputation Report, which looks at key industry trends from the past year and ranks the top retailers in the UK. This comes in the midst of the ongoing pandemic, which is contributing to challenging supply chains and a labor shortage.
Examining 3.7 million shopper reviews across the UK and the US, Reputation’s report ranked the top retailers in the UK of 2021 and uncovered:
- Review volume is up 12% from 2020. This is important because 90% of consumers read reviews before making a purchase, and 72% read multiple reviews. But review volume is down 22% from pre-pandemic days.
- Google Business Profile views and actions are up 17% in 2021. Clicks to directions are up 15%. This data is good news for brick-and-mortar retailers because it signals that people are more interested in visiting physical stores.
- Consumer sentiment about retailers has been dropping throughout 2021. Product availability showed the biggest drop in sentiment, which reflects a growing concern about the supply chain crisis. Product affordability was also a major factor hurting consumer sentiment; inflation and higher prices stemming from limited inventory took their toll.
- A retailer’s people is the only major category that showed an increase in sentiment in 2021 compared to before the pandemic. The personal human connection is crucial to bringing shoppers back to stores and improving sentiment.
“While it’s great to see that consumers are interested in visiting brick and mortar stores again, it’s no surprise that overall sentiment has been dropping. Global supply chain challenges are impacting stores of all types, and UK retail leaders must communicate clearly about this issue with customers,” says Anthony Gaskell, Managing Director of Reputation EMEA. “Brands that continue to invest in both their digital and physical presence, as well as foster open, honest communication will gain consumer trust and continue to win as we continue to return to normalcy.”
The State of UK Retail
- Pandemic-era brands performed well in the UK, reflecting a heightened interest in home improvement and pet care.. For example, Pets at Home and Travis Perkins both had strong showings, with Pets at Home getting particularly high scores for sentiment and visibility.
- Benson Beds stands out as a brand that made a remarkable turnaround over the past year. While it went into bankruptcy at the start of the pandemic, Bensons for Beds refinanced and turned itself around. Remodelling its stores, facilitating open conversation about mental health, rolling out innovative products to be inclusive to different customers, like a vegan bed contributed to a relatively strong engagement score in comparison to other retail brands.
- However, most UK retail leaders do need to improve their engagement scores. Four out of our top 10 retailers scored in the single digits, with two receiving scores of zero. Retailers need to respond to reviews and social media comments. As the UK continues to experience supply chain challenges, brands that update customers about product availability and shipping times will stand out from their competitors.
The Importance of Google
Not only are shoppers doing product research on Google, but they’re also using a retailer’s Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) to learn about retailers before doing business with them. In fact, research shows that a Google Business Profile has more impact on a location’s findability than any other factor. Reputation took a close look at the aggregate volume of Google Business Profile views and actions for retailers in 2021 and found:
- Both views and actions are up 17 percent in 2021.
- Clicks to directions are up 15 percent. This data is especially good news for brick-and-mortar retailers because it signals that people are more interested in visiting physical stores.
Top UK Retail Brands
- Bensons for Beds
- Travis Perkins
- Pets at Home
- John Lewis & Partners
- New Look
- Furniture Village
- Marks & Spencer
- The Co-operative Group
- Holland & Barrett
To see the Reputation Scores of the top UK retailers and read the 2021 Retail Reputation Report, please visit the link here. For more information on Reputation Score and the Reputation RXM platform, please visit www.reputation.com.
Reputation (formerly Reputation.com), creator of the Reputation Experience Management category, is changing the way companies gather and act on customer feedback to drive decision making and enhance Customer Experience (CX) programmes. Reputation’s interaction-to-action platform translates vast amounts of solicited and unsolicited feedback data into prescriptive insights that companies use to learn from and grow. Thousands of global organisations rely on the patented algorithms behind Reputation Score X™ to provide a reliable index of brand performance in order to make targeted business improvements. Backed by Bessemer Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, and trusted by over 250 integration partners, including Google, Facebook, Salesforce, J.D. Power, Amazon and Web.com, Reputation turns feedback into the fuel to grow businesses around the world. Visit reputation.com to learn more.