Retail overtakes Financial Services to take the lead in Customer Experience Excellence

Retail overtakes Financial Services

The analysis compiles the opinions of more than 10,000 consumers to offer the most comprehensive overview of customer experience in the UK.

Also on

  • Successfully managing queues and the positive demeanour of staff won praise at in-store locations
  • Personalisation and innovative uses of social media led to an improved customer experience

Retailers were today singled out as offering the best customer experience following the release of a prestigious report. With Lush overtaking First Direct to claim the top spot, the likes of Zara, John Lewis Partnership, Selfridges and Topshop were also identified as leaders in the field of customer experience in the KPMG Nunwood 2015 UK Customer Experience Excellence Centre Analysis.

The analysis, now in its sixth year, compiles the opinions of more than 10,000 consumers to offer the most comprehensive overview of customer experience in the UK.

The KPMG Nunwood Customer Experience Excellence Centre suggests that retailers who are combining innovative approaches with technology, encouraging high levels of staff engagement, and responding to customer demands for relevant and personalised products are those delivering the best in customer experience.

Staff Engagement

In this year’s analysis, staff engagement was highlighted as an increasingly important differentiating factor for customers with a number of retailers singled out as having highly engaged and customer orientated staff. Added to this, queue management, staff demeanour and their relationships with colleagues all came in for comment and meant a number of brands moved up the customer experience ladder.

Technology and digital innovations

With more and more customers demanding more personalised experiences, many retailers are turning to digital and technological innovations to meet customer needs.

Some retailers, for example, have expanded their RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) programmes over the last year with the goal of improving customer service through greater stock availability.

Elsewhere, brands are leveraging social media to join up the customer experience across multiple channels. Those at the forefront are using the likes of Pinterest and YouTube to create further customer touch points leading to greater customer engagement.

Focusing on Fashion

Fashion retailers in particular were noted for making commendable efforts and strengthening their customer experience strategies for 2015. Brands such as River Island, Zara, Selfridges, Topshop, Dorothy Perkins, H&M, Very and New Look all progressed in the 2015 UK CEE analysis, with some moving up by more than 100 places.

Customers cited the great service they were provided in store and the high levels of personalisation offered as reasons for improved ratings. According to the analysis, fashion retailers are recognising that customers want inspiration and creativity not just the efficient presentation of goods.

Despite this, brands in other areas fell down the customer experience ladder largely due to focussing more attention on areas such as cost cutting and price management.

As brands continue to leverage social media and the use of mobile channels play a greater role in the shopping experience, retailers harnessing the latest in digital and technological strategies could continue their march up the UK CEE rankings and further improve in next year’s report.

David Conway, KPMG-Nunwood Director said: “With many retailers improving in the area of customer excellence, accurately setting and delivering against customer expectations is a core competence of those leaping up the ladder.

“Digital in particular is an exciting area for retail brands with customers demanding more relevant, more personalised experiences. As customer experience in the retail sector continues to flourish, bands are sure to build on existing digital strategies, employing new and innovative techniques to continue to bridge the gaps between different sales channels.”

KPMG Nunwood’s Customer Experience Excellence analysis is one of the biggest and most robust customer experience reports in the world.

Its findings are based on individual responses, talking across hundreds of well-known UK brands. Most importantly, each response is based on feedback from actual customers ensuring the most accurate and meaningful data from more than 10,000 individuals.

Other sectors covered in the report are: Finance, Grocery, Utilities, Travel & Leisure, Entertainment, Telecommunications, Logistics, Aggregators, Public Sector and Restaurants.


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Notes to Editors:

About KPMG Nunwood

KPMG Nunwood provides an end-to-end approach to customer experience management: a platform to move organisations from the desire to excel, through change, to leading performance.

To do this, KPMG Nunwood combines voice of the customer / NPS Programmes, customer journey mapping & experience design and customer experience strategy, helping clients to tackle common customer experience problems more effectively.

KPMG Nunwood’s Excellence Centre provides the basis for this, as one of the largest international studies of best practice, it focusses on researching, analysing and applying customer experience best practice from around the world.

About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 12,000 partners and staff. The UK firm recorded a turnover of £1.9 billion in the year ended September 2014. KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax, and Advisory services. It operates in 155 countries and has 162,000 professionals working in member firms around the world. The independent member firms of the KPMG network are affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"), a Swiss entity. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such.


For media enquiries please contact:

If you would like any additional information or to set up an interview with one of the authors of the report please contact:

Jon Priestley at Wolfstar Consultancy (on behalf of KPMG Nunwood)


Chris Grayson at Wolfstar Consultancy (on behalf of KPMG Nunwood)



KPMG Press office: +44 (0)207 694 8773

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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.

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