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Having looked at the use of Twitter by charities in the UK, and being impressed by number of organisations that have used it to promote their causes, I've decided to take a look at how many retailers are using the service.

There are some great examples of companies using Twitter in the US; Zappos has used it to communicate with customers and for marketing purposes, while Dell says it has made $1m in sales from using Twitter.

So how many UK retailers have signed up for a Twitter account?

I couldn't find some of the more well-known high street retailers; M&S, Next, and others have no presence, and their Twitter profiles seem to have been hijacked. I'm listing as many as I can find here, but if your company is on Twitter, or you are aware of any I have missed, let me know below...

Adnams: http://twitter.com/Adnams

Arena Flowers: http://twitter.com/arenaflowers

ASDA: http://twitter.com/asda

ASOS: http://twitter.com/ASOS

Audible.co.uk http://twitter.com/audibleuk

Book Depository: http://twitter.com/bookdepository

CarphoneWarehouse: http://twitter.com/carphoneware

Catwalk to Closet: http://twitter.com/catwalktocloset

CPW customer service - Guy Stephens (see recent interview with Guy): http://twitter.com/guy1067

CD Wow: http://twitter.com/CDWOWUK

Conran Shop: http://twitter.com/Conran_shop

Debenhams: http://twitter.com/DebenhamsRetail

Dixons: http://twitter.com/dixonsonline

eBayUK: http://twitter.com/eBayUK

Ebuyer: http://twitter.com/Ebuyerdotcom

eSpares: http://twitter.com/espares

Ethical Superstore: http://twitter.com/ethicalstore

Expedia: http://twitter.com/expediatravel

Figleaves: http://twitter.com/figleaveshome

Firebox: http://twitter.com/firebox

French Connection: http://twitter.com/FrenchConn39

Hello Baby: http://twitter.com/hellobabydirect

Joules Clothing:http://twitter.com/Joules_Clothing

Lastminute.com: http://twitter.com/lastminute_com

Little Sunflowers: http://twitter.com/littlesunflower

Littlewoods: http://twitter.com/LittlewoodsDeal

LoveFilm: http://twitter.com/LOVEFiLM_UK

Moo.com: http://twitter.com/overheardatmoo/

mydeco: http://twitter.com/mydeco

Naked Wines: http://twitter.com/nakedwines

NET-A-PORTER: http://twitter.com/Luxury_Fashion

O2: http://twitter.com/o2ukofficial

Ocado: http://twitter.com/ocadouk

Office: http://twitter.com/OfficeShoes

Penguin Books: http://twitter.com/PenguinBooks

PicStop: http://twitter.com/picstop

Play.com: http://twitter.com/playcom

Real Flower Company: http://twitter.com/realflowergirl

Riverford Organic: http://twitter.com/riverford

Rowperfect: http://twitter.com/Rowperfect

Sillyjokes: http://twitter.com/sillyjokes

Smythson: http://twitter.com/Smythson

Soletrader: http://twitter.com/soletrader

TalkTalk: http://twitter.com/TalkTalkTips

thehut.com: http://twitter.com/thehut_com

Thomas Cook: http://twitter.com/ThomasCookUK

Tie Warehouse: http://twitter.com/tiewarehouse

Wallace Sacks: http://twitter.com/wallacesacks

Waterstones: http://twitter.com/waterstonesltd

Webtogs: http://twitter.com/Webtogs

Wiggle Bikeshop: http://twitter.com/wigglebikeshop

Woolworths (new): http://twitter.com/team_woolies

Zavvi: http://twitter.com/zavvionline

Graham Charlton

Published 6 March, 2009 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (48)

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Jamie Riddell

Canterbury of New Zealand are both a sportswear brand and retailer (online & at the Westfield Centre.) They are new entrants to Twitter.

www.twitter.com/canterburynz

(Disclosure: They are also a client of the agency.)

almost 8 years ago

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Rebecca Caroe

My niche rowing shop (direct mail order) isn't on your list

@rowperfect

But maybe you were more keen on the 'mainstream high street'?

R

almost 8 years ago

Guy Stephens

Guy Stephens, Social Customer Care Consultant at IBM Interactive Experience/GBS/MobileEnterprise

Please add @guy1067 to Carphone Warehouse.

@carphoneware tends to be the more corporate voice, whilst @guy1067 is more the customer service voice trying resolve issues our customers have had with us.

You've also got: TalkTalk: @talktalktips

almost 8 years ago

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Jason Finch

I am not at all surprised by the brevity of this list. Back in the late 90s I was advising the Boards of many High Street brands on how to integrate the internet into their business. Many actually refused to believe that the internet had to become a serious part of their business strategy and treated it much like they treat creating their latest poster ad campaign.

Retail Week magazine, last week, published a special report on 'multichannel retail' and unsurprisingly the dinosaurs on the Boards of these large UK High Street retailers were saying the same rubbish they were talking back in the 90s, nothing's changed: the only change will come when the Boards are replaced by a younger generation of more internet savvy business leaders.

It is the small independent retailers that will rise in the UK as they seem more willing to embrace new technology and new ways of communicating with their customers, integrating the web across their whole business.

almost 8 years ago

Chris Byrne

Chris Byrne, CEO at Sensorpro.net

Graham

Nice work. Our client Riverford Organic are also on twitter @riverford

Chris

www.sensorpro.net | @sensorpro

almost 8 years ago

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Kate Wooding

Some other independent retailers on Twitter:

Wiggle bike shop - http://twitter.com/wigglebikeshop

Wiggly Wigglers - http://twitter.com/wiggled

almost 8 years ago

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Jamie Riddell

Espares: www.twitter.com/espares

almost 8 years ago

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Sian

Big Green Switch is on Twitter providing people with Green tips of the day and also environmental news story updates.

www.twitter.com/biggreenswitch

almost 8 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks for all the suggestions, I've updated the list.

almost 8 years ago

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Sarah Groves

Hi,

Adnams has joined Twitter, and we've also got our Head Brewer, Fergus Fitzgerald, just starting to tweet
Adnams: @adnams
Fergus: @solebear

Thanks, Sarah

almost 8 years ago

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Lisa

We're on Twitter and have been for almost a year.  Check out the comings and goings of moo.com www.twitter.com/overheardatmoo/

Plus there are a number of the employees on as well.

almost 8 years ago

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Anon

Surprising to see Argos for example not present on this list nor Twitter. Is that just being cautious with new technology or foolish?

almost 8 years ago

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markhgn

I've collected additional data around this list you can download as a .csv from my blog.

Brief facts include:

LOVEFiLM tweets the most per day: 6.1
The Book Depository has been on Twitter the longest: 642 days
Fig Leaves is trying hard to get followers: 0.4 followers to people being followed

If anyone has more time it would be interesting to see the frequency of Tweets br retailer to see if this is picking up as Twitter itself is becoming more popular.

almost 8 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Lisa and Sarah, I've added those to the list.

Mark - I was was just aiming to get a list together so see how many are using it. Just from glancing at the accounts as I added them to the list I can see that some are more active than others.

When I have some more on the list I may follow this up and look at how effectively these retailers are using Twitter.

almost 8 years ago

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James Tweed

Coracle Online (www.CoracleOnline.com) uses twitter to communicate with eLearning students around the world. As well as answering queries from students, we send updates on our new podcasts from www.ShippingPodcasts.com and other general information relating to the commercial shipping industry.

almost 8 years ago

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markhgn

Apologies Graham, I didn't mean to say it wasn't useful and have corrected my post... should have read that it was very useful and more useful with a few numbers! Thank you for pulling this together.

almost 8 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

No problem Mark, let me know if you pull any more stats together on this.

almost 8 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Graham

Great list.


I've replied via twitter as well but you can add the following:

@Conran_shop

@mydeco

@innocent

@OfficeShoes

@Aleksandr_orlov (compare the market)

thanks

james

almost 8 years ago

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Jason Riseborough, Head of Online at ArupEnterprise

I feel very upset that we havnt been added to the list - http;//twitter.com/sillyjokes

almost 8 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Come on Jason you've only got one update from 27th Feb - your company lends itself to some engaging updates, get tweeting!

I'm following you now so I expect entertainment!!

thanks

james

almost 8 years ago

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Jason Riseborough, Head of Online at ArupEnterprise

I will do my best James and thanks for following us as well! I hope we can make your experience fun

almost 8 years ago

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Jason Riseborough, Head of Online at ArupEnterprise

Slight hijack of this thread but does relate to Twitter. How cheesey is it if a company tries and sells it products or uses discounts via it's twitter feed?

Would it put you off following or does it give you perceived value?

almost 8 years ago

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Richard C.

Online dancewear retailer MyUnitard.co.uk is also on Twitter : @myunitard. We're not using it that much at the moment (waiting for a new website to become live), but we're gearing up.

almost 8 years ago

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Kieron

Competitor to us - but Waterstone's ( @waterstonesltd) has started tweeting, not a lot of updates to date.

You've listed Penguin althought a good user of Twitter i wouldn't say they were really a retailer - there are a lot of good publishers using it from Ebury, Canongate, O'Reilly, Snow Books, Faber & Faber, Orbit, Bloomsbury etc etc

almost 8 years ago

Michelle Goodall

Michelle Goodall, Online PR/Social Media Consultant at EconsultancySmall Business Multi-user

Jason,

In response to your question about whether promoting special offers/discounts etc via Twitter, I think that you have to have to treat Twitter like any other social network - define your objectives and how you are going to resource it.....and then test it out.

As you can see from this and the non-profit Twitter list, those who have the most followers/interest tend to be those who use their Twitter account for multiple purposes - a bit of customer service, a bit of humanising the brand by being helpful to their community, sharing opinions and points of view and the occasional relevant and useful sales message. The great thing about Twitter is that you can ask your community whether you are getting things right. They will tell you straight away what they think. Then you can fix it.

If you use it purely as a 'push' channel, you will slowly lose the interest of your existing followers and give those who find you little to want to follow. I think that your best approach is to mix it up, provide occasional sales messages and more importantly find out what Twitter and social media means to your organisation.

Above all, measure what you can. We track hard metrics such as Unique visits via Twitter referrals, sales etc as well as sentiment towards Econsultancy and use it a customer service channel (e.g. if someone tweets that they are having probems accessing a report for example, we follow up with the Econsultancy account or personally). See Chris Lake's excellent post on this '10 ways to measure Social Media'.

I'll be following you soon and will happily tell you whether you are getting the balance right ..... ;-)

almost 8 years ago

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Neil Ashworth

Interesting post Graham.

I'm surprised the list is shorter but certain it will grow. Which application did you use to track these stores down?

I've found twollo to be a good keyword tracker when looking for specifics such as this on twitter. Would be interested to read the post on charities also so will (in the words of a great American politician) be back.

Neil

almost 8 years ago

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Paul Rouke

Another one for the list: http://twitter.com/Ebuyerdotcom

If they can match their fantastic delivery performance and customer relationship management with intelligent use of twitter they are on to a winner in my eyes.

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks - I'll update again.

over 7 years ago

Chris Byrne

Chris Byrne, CEO at Sensorpro.net

Graham

Woolworths, now owned by Shop Direct Group (owner of Littlewoods) is also on Twitter @team_woolies

via @mattuk

Chris

www.sensorpro.co.uk | @sensorpro | @sensorpro_us

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi Chris,

I added this one last night, I noticed it while looking at the relaunched Zavii site: http://econsultancy.com/blog/3434-zavvi-co-uk-back-from-the-dead

Looks like a good effort so far...

over 7 years ago

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marketing startegy

great list! I have added them on my lists.

www.twitter.com/angela_d (Site source 101)

www.twitter.com/redsternberg

www.twitter.com/mycrabtree

thanks for sharing!

over 7 years ago

Robert Mobberley

Robert Mobberley, CEO at Peformance Motorcare Products Ltd

Performance Motorcare Products - online car, motorcycle and marine detailing products.

http://twitter.com/PerformanceMC

Would be interesting to see how the majors use twitter compared to the independents.

Rob

over 7 years ago

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Jennifer

Hi Chris,

You missed French Connection on your list....

http://twitter.com/FrenchConn39

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks again

Rob - generally speaking, the independents and smaller retailers seem to be making more effort to update regularly, though there are exceptions, such as @guy1067 from Carphone Warehouse.

over 7 years ago

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Peter

Missing from the list also is "Photographic Accessory Specialist" PicStop.co.uk

http://twitter.com/picstop

over 7 years ago

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Paul Rouke

Another one for the list Graham, a new to Twitter retailer (I suspect they may well have got on-board with the Twitter bandwagon following this excellent post which has proved very popular!)

http://twitter.com/ocadouk

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks Paul

over 7 years ago

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Justine Wyness, Managing Director at BeCheeky.com

Just added lingerie and swimwear store, BeCheeky.com too...

over 7 years ago

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Bev Toogood

Another small retailer on Twitter: littlesunflowers.com childrenswear & gifts (ie us!)

twitter.com/littlesunflower

over 7 years ago

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Graeme Cole

Hi Graham,

http://twitter.com/dixonsonline - Dixons is on board!

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks Graeme / Bev / Justine, I've added you to the list.

over 7 years ago

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Trevor Ginn

I'd like to submit my own eCommerce site which has a twitter profile at 

http://www.twitter.com/hellobabydirect

over 7 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Thanks Trevor, I've added it.

over 7 years ago

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Mark - Melbourne Online

Being from Australia I follow UK trends with great attention, since Melbourne follows closely behind.

I do wonder for retailers the ratio of time spent on Twitter to benefit gained.  How much networking does a retailer need to do to make a sale or gain promotion of some sort?

If anyone has any thoughts or stats would love to hear back.

over 7 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

ShopProperly these blogs and discussions are not sales channels - if you want to promote a service then at least add value to the discussion before providing an open acknowledgement that you wish to promote your business. Your comment has nothing to do with this Twitter discussion and everything to do with shameless self promotion. Please show greater respect for the culture of this site in future, otherwise it will only serve to create negativity towards your brand.

Thanks

james

over 7 years ago

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ilovebrands

We are doing some interesting things with Twitter ;) @ilovebrands Completely agree with Michelle Goodall, by the way. ILB

almost 7 years ago

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Howard Recruitment Ltd

Howard Recruitment advertise Retail jobs at @UK_Retail_Jobs for the whole of the UK.

almost 6 years ago

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Mark

Can anyone provide me with a list of online retailers, in descending order from who were established the latest?

about 5 years ago

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