E‑commerce competition among UK retailers has led to notable in‑market innovation, but continental Europe still represents an opportunity for enterprising retailers to improve digital sophistication and grow online sales. A small group is taking all of the spoils—Tesco and E.Leclerc control much higher e‑commerce market share than they do offline.

As Amazon continues to aggressively expand in Europe, retailers must match the e‑tailer’s pace of innovation or risk hitting a point of no return. Here are the top 10 digital performers in the European retail market, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Retail Europe 2017:

1. Otto
Digital IQ: 146

Far ahead of its peers, Otto soars to success as the leader in L2’s study. The pure-play retailer boasts top-notch product pages with 26% organic visibility across relevant keyword searches. When it comes to display advertising, Otto serves the highest number of impressions in Germany, totaling about 4 billion between February and August.

2. Fnac
Digital IQ: 146

A leader in desktop display advertising, this Genius brand holds the strongest branded search visibility in France. Part of Ceconomy, a newly-formed consumer electronics giant posed to become a viable competitor against Amazon, the French brand has already rolled out components of its digital strategy to other Ceconomy member Darty.

3. MediaMarkt (Germany)
Digital IQ: 142

One of two Germany-based Genius brands, Media Markt has an impressive digital strategy. Its blog, Smart Wohnen, is shoppable and represents its repositioning as a service-oriented brand.

4. Boots
Digital IQ: 140

The British brand invests in major content and loyalty programs, beating out Argos for the top spot in digital performance. Online, it prioritizes guided selling tools to help users narrow down an otherwise large volume of products, permitting them to purchase the item most relevant to what they need. Notably, the brand also maintains an active presence on social media, consistently creating content on both Instagram Stories and Snapchat.

5. Argos
Digital IQ: 139

Argos is a winner in organic unbranded search visibility on desktop, illustrated by its detailed, content-heavy product pages. A bright, clean website for both desktop and mobile make the e-commerce experience seamless and user-friendly.

6. Marks & Spencer
Digital IQ: 134

Thanks to superb social content, this brand checks in as the one non-pharmacy retailer among the top five retailers with the greatest community growth. Leveraging its cross-category status to generate a range of aspirational content, M&S achieves outsized organic engagement on Instagram. Additionally, M&S performs well on both Facebook and YouTube, where well-targeted placement allows it to further expand its digital presence.

7. Carrefour 
Digital IQ: 133

As one of the few brands to frequently use Instagram Stories and Snapchat, Carrefour returns the best performance on those platforms. The site experience is bolstered with a shoppable blog, and well-curated YouTube videos feature lengthy descriptions and video overlays that link back to relevant recipes on the retailer’s website, creating a unified e-commerce experience.

7. Darty
Digital IQ: 133

As one of the top two digital performers in France, Darty’s newly syndicated program with Fnac prioritizes convenience for the consumer with features like free same-day delivery at a modest membership fee.

9. Cdiscount
Digital IQ: 132

Pure-play retailer Cdiscount is one of the biggest spenders on Google search ads, achieving 43% organic visibility across relevant keyword searches. Taking the same approach as Amazon, the brand uses ad space on its site as a revenue driver and sends emails when online shoppers abandon their carts.

10. Lidl (Germany)
Digital IQ: 131

The only e-commerce enabled region, Lidl Germany outperforms locations in other markets. Additionally, it leads in branded search visibility on desktop and boasts Instagram community growth of 108%.

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