THE BEST RETAILERS BRANDS
As we explained in a previous article, Colruyt was selected best “Omnichannel” brand in 2018 by the 3,500 respondents taking part in the Best Brands study carried out by GfK for Serviceplan. However, in view of the growing importance of retailer diversification, the burning question is whether Colruyt is an isolated case among retailers or whether the sector as a whole is on the receiving end of such complimentary scores?
Of the 10 retailer brands included in the study, there are 5 brands which actually make it to the top 100. Colruyt comes out ahead of Carrefour, Lidl, Delhaize and Aldi. What this means is that it’s the same top 5 as for the Best Product Brands category, just ranked differently. While the winner remains the same, there have been changes to the order in which they appear. Such is the case for Delhaize, the second place retail brand for Best Product Brands, which this time around came in 4th, ahead of Aldi.
What bears mentioning is that the three leading brands in our ranking have an online reach that doesn’t lag far behind their offline reach, with scores in a relatively higher range. This means that Colruyt, Carrefour and Lidl have nearly as much contact with their customers via experiences online as offline, but that the digital experiences for these brands earn better scores on evaluations than those of other retailers.
Delhaize is a case in point in this respect. While the reach of online experiences is only slighter smaller than for offline experiences, evaluation of them and their impact come out significantly lower. While Colruyt and Carrefour receive scores of 70% for their online touchpoints, Delhaize receives a score of just 9%, with a negative evaluation of its website in particular.
The Mestdagh brand, coming in at 10th place in the sectoral ranking has a profile that is the exact opposite of Delhaize. The brand obtains a very positive score in terms of online impact (50%) while its offline results (20%) are fairly average. Based on these preliminary results, it appears that it would be in Mestdagh's interest to grow its online visibility to increase its reach and take advantage of the quality of the digital experiences it currently has on offer.
The results of the Best Omnichannel Brands study also provide an indication of what the Colruyt group's strategy is. While the Colruyt brand allows online purchases via its Collect & Go platform, this is not the case for Okay (with the exception of Collishop). The Best Omnichannel Brands results are tangible evidence of this. While Okay's offline experience comes out on top (70% vs. 64% for Colruyt), its online experience observably ranks lower than the rest, even moving into the negative.
How can a score be negative? For each experience that a consumer has with a brand, we ask him or her to insert an icon in a chart based on two factors. The first factor is memorability (Did it make an impression on me or not?). The second factor is the impression: was it positive or negative? The score that we refer to in this article is an index obtained by measuring the difference between the positive and negative memorable experiences. In Okay's case, we identify more negative than positive memorable experiences.
What we can conclude from this retailers analysis in the context of Best Omnichannel Brands is that we are really seeing the importance of being able to have a presence on both fronts: online and offline, with each brand having its own strategy. Colruyt strives for efficiency in its stores to reduce costs and its prices as a result. Delhaize prioritises the in-store experience. And it won’t be the Red Market venture that helps the group to change this philosophy. However, that’s where Colruyt really stands out: in its diversification. The group has numerous options that enable it to respond to the consumer's different needs, both in terms of its range of products and the type of experience that people are looking for. It's from these elements that the value of having different complementary chains arises. Neverthless, the Colruyt brand remains the cornerstone of the group. Both online and offline, it continues to attract greater numbers of people.