The launch of Forrester’s Customer Experience Index (CX Index™) reports for UK and French retailers is a great way for me to dive into the topic of customer experience in a broader way than I have in the past, with a particular focus on the dynamics of the European market.

Those of you who’ve followed me over the years will know I’ve always focused on digital experience, be it eCommerce, mobile, emerging digital touchpoints, and, more recently, wider digital transformation. After a year away from research, I’m back with a new focus and am delighted to be working with a new team of analysts focused on the intersection between CX, brand, and privacy.

An odd combination?

If the last couple of years of GDPR, election interference, Cambridge Analytica, major public data breaches, and an increasing drive for firms to prove the hard cash value of their CX efforts have taught us anything, it’s that consumers’ perception of brands, and their desire to do business with those brands, is intimately intertwined with the end-to-end experience they receive, how the brand treats their data and them as an individual, and, therefore, how much they trust the brand.

Digging deeper, we’ll be looking at global trends but focusing specifically on what it means to European firms based on the specific consumer behaviors, technology adoption, competitive context, dynamics, and legislative landscape in Europe.

Let’s Start With European Retail Customer Experience

Our 2019 CX Index ranks how successfully firms deliver customer experiences that create and sustain loyalty. What we found for retailers specifically is:

  • European retail CX scores are improving — slowly. The average industry score for both pure-play digital and multichannel retailers is up in the UK and France. This, in the context of an overall lift across industries, is a good sign, but a rising tide floats all boats. As experiences improve across the board, consumers’ expectations naturally increase. Now isn’t the time to rest on hard-won laurels. Now is the time for CX leaders to do the hard work of proving the cash value of their investments.
  • John Lewis and Amazon are the No. 1 UK retailers. For the fourth year in a row, John Lewis tops the UK multichannel retailer ranking, and Amazon regained its spot as the top digital retailer. These brands had the highest percentage of customers having effective, easy, and emotionally positive experiences of all the retailers we measured in the UK CX Index.
  • Amazon and The Body Shop take the top spots in France. For the fourth year in a row, Amazon tops the French digital retailers ranking. The Body Shop moved up to become the best French multichannel retailer. Amazon had the highest percentage of customers having effective, easy, and emotionally positive experiences of all the digital retailers in the France CX Index.