Retail Week Indicator reviewed the top UK retailers’ marketing expertise. Discover the top trends and best performing retailers.

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In partnership with Google

A retailer’s approach to marketing was considered to assess efforts in raising brand awareness and customer engagement. 

In digitally led retail, marketing decisions are not only key for brand exposure but for aiding frictionless shopping experiences that bolster competitiveness. As brand loyalty among customers diminishes, retailers must adapt by investing in digital marketing initiatives that are innovative and support personalisation.

PositionRetailerMarketing score
1 Boots 86.2
2 Tesco 82.8
3 Ikea 81.0
4 Game 80.5
5 John Lewis 80.5
6 Marks & Spencer 80.5
7 Superdrug 80.5
8 Morrisons 78.2
9 Matalan 77.0
10 H&M 75.9

All scoring runs from 0 to 100, with 100 being the maximum score.

Social media is rising in importance for retailers as consumers spend more of their time on these platforms. According to Global Web Index, consumers spent an average of two hours and 22 minutes per day on social networking and messaging platforms this year, compared to one-and-a-half hours a day in 2012.

Google UK director of retail and technology Martijn Bertisen says: “Retailers need to be where their audience are. Media consumption has shifted over the years from traditional channels like print and TV to digital channels like Google, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram. You can’t afford to ignore the audience that lives on those platforms.”

Top 10 retailers by social media followers

PositionRetailerNumber of social media followers





























The Body Shop


Instant gratification

Instagram shopping

Instagram Shopping enables companies to tag products to buy in their posts

Retailers need to not only make their social media accounts engaging but easily shoppable, as consumers want a slick, easy shopping experience on these platforms.

Instagram, a channel that is increasingly important for fashion brands, launched Instagram Shopping last year that enables companies to tag products in organic posts.

When a user taps a product tag on a shoppable post or a product sticker in a story, they will be taken to a description page where they can view an image, price tag and product information and a link to the retailer’s website to buy the item.

Retailers have embraced this selling opportunity with 78% of those monitored by Indicator using shopping via Instagram functions.

Shoppers are heavily influenced by what they see on their favourite social sites, which is a channel for discovery for new brands and products. The retailers who offer them the choice to scroll and shop in one place will reap the benefits.

Speedy social service

Another way shoppers are seeking instant gratification on social media is from a service perspective. People expect fast response times to queries via social channels and retailers are giving it to them.

Research by ecommerce consultancy firm Practicology found 50% of customers would stop buying with a retailer that fails to respond to negative social media comments, while more than 80% expect companies to respond to social media contact within 24 hours.

Indicator found retailers are surpassing these expectations. The average response time on Twitter across the retailers monitored was 3.5 hours, compared to 6.5 hours last year.

In fact, out of the 176 retailers assessed by Indicator, 31 responded to social media queries in 15 minutes or less.

The average email response time was much slower than on social media, at 31 hours, which is the same as last year. This would suggest social is the bigger area of focus in customer communications.