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Since the RPIs from 2018 through 2020 delve deeply and exclusively into what drives the overall RPI ranking, this report will devote much of its real estate to understanding which retailers performed higher on our Covid Momentum Metric, and why. Without further ado, let's look at the top ranked retailers for the 2021 Overall Retailer Preference Index, and which retailers best delivered on customer needs to score highest on our Covid Momentum Metric.

2021 Retailer Preference Index and Covid Momentum Metric Ranking: The First Quartiles (Rank 1 - 14)

Based on a combination of how well-positioned a retailer's customer value proposition is for long-term financial success, emotional bonds with customers and short-term Covid Momentum, the retailers who scored in the First Quartile Overall, with the highest RPI+ Scores are:


This marks the first year that Amazon claims the top spot in our study, jumping from third place to overtake last year's winner, H-E-B. Trader Joe's slides from second to third place, rounding out our top three. Target is our only newcomer to the First Quartile Overall, jumping six spots to move out of the Second Quartile, a spot they occupied the previous three years.

When looking at Amazon's strengths, it is clear why they are first this year. Amazon occupies a clear Price-First position, ranking 11th out of the 56 retailers in our study on Price, ensuring a strong Value Core. They also are second in Speed and first in Digital, two of the most important preference drivers for Covid Momentum.

Due to Amazon's performance on Speed and Digital and its value proposition, it also had the most momentum of any retailer in the market in 2020, scoring highest on our Covid Momentum Metric:


FOR BRANDS

In the first episode of Customer First Radio, Dave Clements, Global Head of Retail for dunnhumby and David Ciancio, Global Head of Grocery for dunnhumby kick off the series by discussing what it means to be a truly Customer First business, share which retailers and brands today embody a Customer First mindset, and examine how Customer First materialized during the pandemic with retailers.

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Photo by Will Francis on Unsplash

The 2021 Retailer Preference Index: Who's winning and why. David Ciancio, Global Head of Grocery discusses the 2021 U.S Retailer Preference Index (RPI): Grocery Edition with the lead author of the RPI, Erich Kahner. They unveil key insights and discuss who is winning and who is best positioned for the future.

dunnhumby’s Prophets of Aisle Six, Episode 2: Heinen's Fine Foods

The Prophets of Aisle Six is the first online reality series focusing on innovation in the food retail industry. In this episode, Jose Gomes, dunnhumby's North America Managing Director, travels to the downtown Cleveland store of Heinen's Fine Foods. Jose meets with Tom and Jeff Heinen, co-owners and brothers, and learns how they are evolving their grandfather's mission of delivering excellent customer service. With 23 stores in Northeast Ohio and the greater Chicago area, and a 90-year legacy, Heinen's is proving that being a small retailer can be an advantage when it comes to data.

In this series, dunnhumby tours the globe and speaks with some of the world's greatest brands, exploring their biggest challenges and how they are using customer data science to meet those challenges.


In my last post, I posed five questions to retailers to help them determine whether they're ready for a customer-first mindset. Now, I'd like to challenge the retail basics that seasoned retailers were trained on, and suggest instead a new customer data science approach.

"Retail is detail" is common industry wisdom, and it means that achieving success is subtle and difficult. Success in any field demands practice and experience, and so it is little wonder that many senior retail and brand leaders and managers have vast years of involvement, and that most have grown up through the business in progressive steps.

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