Retail Week has published its annual list of the most-loved retailers in the UK. Interestingly if you are looking for big picture trends relating to product sectors, or types of retailers, you will struggle to discover any conclusive findings.

Understandably retailers that deliver low prices are very well represented in the cost-of-living climate, but by no means are all low price retailers loved. Some, are clearly not loved at all.

So, what is the common link behind our best loved retailers?

The answer is trust. It is about making clear promises to the customer, and then keeping those promises. It is about not failing the customer, and not allowing the customer to fail when in your care.

Those promises can be specific, such as Amazon promising next day free deliveries, or Aldi promising everyday low prices, or the pledges can be more emotional such as Apple’s commitment to designing beautiful products to enhance customers lifestyles, or Marks & Spencer committing always to amazing customer service.

Amazon, Apple, Aldi, and M&S are the top 4 most loved retailers.

The fact is that customers are attracted to retailers for any number of reasons. Reliability is everything for some, whatever the environmental cost. Sustainability and ethics are essential for other customers, whatever the monetary cost. Clearly for many, cost itself is the only consideration.

The first lesson for any retailer is that you must make promises, pledges, commitments to the customer. These promises must be intrinsic in your brand, your product proposition, and your governance.

In our saturated markets, you will mean nothing to the customer without a commitment to them!

The second lesson is that you must deliver on that promise. Glossy images, bold statements, exciting content, even glamorous influencers will count for nothing if the reality behind the façade amounts to nothing more than vacuous, unsubstantiated and meaningless claims.

Is it a surprise to anyone that one striking omission, with the exception of Etsy, from our favourite retailers list, is pureplay?

In contrast to their own hyped-up media claims, the customers of brands such as Boohoo and Shein clearly love them so much, that they fail to achieve the top 50 chart.  Apparently, beauty is only screen-deep, and genuine customer commitments hardly worth the pixels they are written on.  

More and more analysis and research now points to the commercial necessity of omnichannel, for reasons such as convenience and experience. However, there is also clearly a link between physical shops and physical customers that generates strong feelings of trust, familiarity, reliance and indeed love!

In the meantime…

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