Digital performance varies enormously across Europe, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Retail Europe. The UK remains the most digitally advanced European country for the second year in a row, while Spain and Italy are the least sophisticated nations.

With over half of retailers ranked as Gifted or Genius, UK retailers provide a particularly advanced e-commerce experience. The country boasts the highest adoption of same-day delivery, testifying to outlets’ digital prowess. Grocers face increasing competition, however, due to third-party players like mySupermarket providing live updates on competitor pricing.

In second place, Germany is home to Otto and MediaMarkt, two of the four brands in L2’s study to earn the Genius ranking. Playing on strong display advertising and search investments, these brands cement themselves in the Genius class. They are an exception, as most brands in Germany rank Average or below due to lacklustre e-commerce and search spend.

French brands face the largest disparity between top and bottom. Fnac leads the ranking together with Otto, while Aldi falls into the penultimate position. Fnac and Darty profit from their recent merger, which includes a competitive subscription model similar to Amazon Prime. On the other hand, grocers suffer in France. Carrefour and E.Leclerc provide completely disjointed site experiences by maintaining multiple different sites for delivery, collection, and other product categories.

Meanwhile, Spain and Italy have some catching up to do. Over half of Italian Index brands fall into the Feeble class. Those ranked Feeble in 2016 dropped even further down the ranking, making it harder for them to catch up. However, there are a few notable bright spots. Surprisingly, Carrefour is most successful in Spain due to a streamlined site experience that the brand lacks in other markets.

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