Selfridges has topped the first ever “Buzz Score” ranking to be created as part of The Index, an exclusive new fashion brand and retail tracker created by TheIndustry.fashion in partnership with payments provider Klarna.
The upscale department store chain, whose USP is a positive customer experience, was the clear winner scoring a net positive Buzz Score of +32%. Next on the overall list was Amazon with +28%, followed by John Lewis at +27%. The high street’s highest overall score went to Primark with +22%.
Buzz Scores are an integral part of The Index, which is a monthly study of 2,000 nationally representative consumers. Every four weeks this consumer set is quizzed, by leading market research experts Savanta, on their fashion shopping habits and their positive and negative perceptions of 100 of the UK’s top fashion retailers. To participate consumers must have shopped online or in-store for fashion in the three months prior to the survey.
The Index will track month on month changes in behaviour from preferred channels, formats and sectors to how individual brands perform when it comes to online and offline visits and purchases. The Buzz Score, which takes positive and negative sentiment (each consumer is asked to rank retailers they have visited in the past three months) and nets them off each other to create an overall score, will also be tracked month on month.
By showing visits and purchases in parallel with a Buzz Score, it is possible to see whether good or bad news in the market affects consumers’ behaviour towards a brand. And, whether a brand is tracked or not, it enables brands to benchmark themselves against like-for-like or similar businesses. To aid this process all brands & retailers are categories according to their sector, such as pureplay etail, high street, value, premium, luxury and sportswear.
For this first outing of The Index and the Buzz Scores it is clear that those brands and retailers with a recognisable niche (be it value, luxury or sports) are more likely to receive higher Buzz Stores. Overall Buzz Score performance across the mass and premium end of the high street is generally lower, however the key aspect to consider is the delta between the positive and negative score.
If that delta is healthily in favour of the positive then the brand is in a good place. Brands such as Marks & Spencer (+12%), Next (+11%) and ASOS (+13%) fall into this category. While the overall scores don’t warrant a place on the top 10 list, their scores are strongly skewed towards the positive.
For an example of how a brand can still score very highly on the positive scale and yet still end up with a poor, or even negative score, Sports Direct provides it. Mike Ashley’s sports empire elicits a very strong positive score among those shoppers who love it (+21%) but it’s negative score of -23% leaves it on -2% overall. It is the most polarising brand in our list.
Sports Direct is one of only three of the 100 brands & retailers to end up in negative territory (but looking forward to next month we do see improvement), along with Debenhams (-1%) and House of Fraser (-3%).
The Index: The Brands & The Buzz Scores is published today. It is free to view for paid members of TheIndustry.fashion. If you are already a paid member, view The Index here.
If you are not, read more about it and how to become a paid member here. Paid membership also gives you free access to our monthly In Focus reports, which are also derived from exclusive consumer research along with our master database The Intelligence with data-led profiles of more than 800 fashion retailers, brands, designers and shopping destinations.
Part 1 of The Index, which tracked preferred channels, formats and sectors can be accessed here.
The Index from TheIndustry.fashion in partnership with Klarna will be updated every month.