The original disruptors have been disrupted. While high street holds its breath and fast fashion falls out of favor, pure plays like ASOS and Missguided have seen their branded search volume increase year over year. The top ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail UK continue to gain market share in the region. Meanwhile, legacy retailers struggle to keep up.

1. Missguided
Digital IQ: 141

Missguided snags the top spot in this year’s ranking thanks to its intuitive site structure with guides like “jeans & a nice top” in primary navigation. The brand morphs fans into influencers via its tag, #babesofmissguided, which is a staple on every user-generated piece of content it posts. Aside from strong social game, Missguided boasts robust mobile product pages complete with vertical video and a swipeable cross-selling carousel, plus an app that features daily shoppable content in the style of Instagram Stories.

2. New Look
Digital IQ: 140

New Look turned heads by launching a premium shipping subscription pass for £20 a year, offering unlimited standard and next-day shipping and returns. The apparel brand also partners with UK influencers to drive Instagram interactions and promotes social commerce with consistent shoppable tags on both Instagram and Facebook. Lastly, New Look weaves exposure into its marketing mix, placing display ads on over 1,600 different publisher sites.

3. H&M
Digital IQ: 139

A top performer on Instagram, H&M racks up 99,000 interactions per post. Meanwhile, its “H&M Spring Collection 2018” video featuring Winona Ryder amassed 25 million views on YouTube. The brand also incentivizes users to join its loyalty program with perks such as free shipping. On product pages, H&M pays attention to detail, featuring inventory levels such as “Few Left” and “One Left” that can be viewed by size.

4. ASOS
Digital IQ: 138

In addition to continuing to leverage branded micro-influencer accounts, ASOS partnered with editorial sites to increase its reach on YouTube. The online native tailors homepages by gender based on user browsing behavior and decks out product pages with stylized product videos and a Buy the Look tool.

5. Next
Digital IQ: 136

Next succeeds with a highly segmented email strategy and a focus on retargeting, events, and loyalty to lift its open rate. The brand also boasts next-level click and collect that can be fulfilled within an hour and a cross-selling tool that enables seamless selection of complete outfits by size and color.

6. River Island
Digital IQ: 136

River Island makes waves with high paid and organic visibility with a priority for video ads. An innovative mobile app taps into technology and convenience by offering bag merge capabilities across devices and integrating Face ID for a more seamless shopping experience.

7. Zara
Digital IQ: 135

Nimble paid search tactics help bring this high street staple to success. The brand refreshes 99% of paid keywords year over year and thrives with a strong performance on Instagram. However, it still has room to improve on Stories, an aspect on the platform where it could capitalize on shoppability.

8. Urban Outfitters
Digital IQ: 134

Urban Outfitters keeps pace with the competition thanks to free click and collect and advanced shipping options based on price. It also boasts the strongest mobile product pages and app experience out of all tracked brands.

9. Schuh
Digital IQ: 133

Schuh is the sole brand in Gartner L2’s study offering both click and collect and reserve online, pick up in store. Additionally, it strides ahead with top paid visibility on unbranded shoe terms.

10. Anthropologie
Digital IQ: 132

Anthropologie gave itself a social makeover from 2017 to 2018. Despite being inactive on Instagram Stories last year, the brand developed a region-specific social strategy with UK Instagram influencers, helping it rope in 2018’s top Stories performance.

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