By Daniel Hunter

Currys has been named as the UK's best retailer for digitally savvy promotion strategies by digital marketing company RapidCampaign.

RapidCampaign’s ‘From Promotion to Purchase’ report benchmarked the promotions strategy of the UK’s top 20 online retailers, analysing the promotion types exploited and channels used for distribution, looking at aspects such as regularity, variety, mobile optimisation, personlisation and how compelling promotions are.

Electronics retailer Currys came out on top, scoring highly (73%) for a wide range of promotions across a number of touch points. The report found that Currys employs a smart promotions strategy with a keen sense of unification across multiple channels, such as interactive competitions which are social media led, but hosted on its website and shared via email.

Thomas Cook (71%), Boots (68%), Asda (67%) and Sports Direct (63%) joined Currys in the top five.

Mobile network operator O2 and online fashion retailer Asos were the poorest performers, scoring 18% and 6% respectively. RapidCampaign said they focus on aspirational style content on its social, web and email channels.

The report found that across the UK's top 20 retailers, the most common promotion type was competitions, with 17 out of 20 using this mechanism to engage customers. It was followed by vouchers and coupons, which were used by 15. However, very few were employing surveys or more interactive promotions, missing an opportunity to engage customers and drive further sales.

The voucher code or coupon is the most popular kind of promotion as far as consumers are concerned, and the majority of top retailers appear to be alert to this. A voucher code offers an immediate incentive to purchase and doesn’t limit a potential customer in their buying choice. Only five of the online retailers scored failed to offer any form of voucher code or coupon.

Only eight out of 20 retailers shared promotions in email, the lowest of any channel despite the fact that this is the most popular channel with consumers. 12 of the 20 retailers use promotions on their websites, interesting considering this is the second top channel for consumers, a third (34%) of whom want to find retailer promotions on the retailer’s site.

Marko Luhtala, CEO of RapidCampaign, said: “In the current consumer landscape, your customers have a huge breadth of choice available to them, and it is increasingly harder to convince them to buy. It is persuasive and innovative promotions strategies that have the power to cut through the noise and ultimately make the biggest difference to a retailers’ bottom line. But getting the basics right is vital. In another recent report we detailed the consumer preference for receiving promotions via email as a basic requirement — it is disappointing to see over half of the UK’s top 20 retailers falling at this basic hurdle.”

Scores from the leading 20 retailers varied from 73% to a poor 6%, with an overall average of 43%, indicating there is significant room for improvement for retailers to live up to customer expectations.