BearingPoint Digital Leaders Study 2021: Dutch “Digital First” Retailer, Coolblue, is This Year’s Top Performer

  • and Hunkemöller come in second and third on the international rankings
  • Retail is the most digitally mature industry closely followed by Telco and Banking
  • Netherlands, UK and Sweden are the best performing countries

AMSTERDAM–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Coolblue–Today, Management and Technology consultancy BearingPoint announces the findings from its annual Digital Leaders Study. This year, 390 companies in seven countries were included in the study (Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK) and evaluated, from a customer perspective, on the maturity of their digital customer interaction. The research is based on 239 research criteria in four different areas: digital marketing, digital product experience, e-commerce and e-CRM. The rating scale goes from 0-5, where 0 is failed and 5 is outstanding.

The average score across all participating companies is 2.80, being in the upper range of a sufficient grade, and indicating that there is room for improvement. The leader in this year’s study is Dutch e-commerce company Coolblue (3.90), closely followed by two other Netherlands based “digital first” retailers; (3.83) – an online store – and omni-channel clothing brand Hunkemöller (3.76).

“The BearingPoint 2021 Digital Leaders Study offers a valuable snapshot of the level of digital maturity across leading European companies as well as trends and progress made by industries in these challenging and fast changing times. A strategy of digitalization which covers all dimensions is the optimal approach to achieve digital excellence and help companies adapt and respond to a constantly changing business landscape”, says Eric Conway, Regional Leader for Finland, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Italy, Sweden and UK at BearingPoint.

Retail (3.07) is the best performing industry and is, together with telco (3.05), the only industry to receive a good grade by managing to score above 3.

Digital product experience (3.32) is the best performing dimension in this year’s study. A majority of the companies in our study have a digital landscape – both the traditional web-based variety and mobile – that scores well on product and service information, content and functionality.

E-commerce (2.63) also scores relatively high. Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, a company’s ability to sell over its digital channels has become more important than ever.

No industry scores particularly high in E-CRM (2.47) which we believe could be due to challenges in addressing customer needs during the pandemic.

The digital marketing dimension has improved across the regions in the study since last year, with the average score rising from 2.32 to 2.49. The shift to the online sale of goods and services during the pandemic has also seen a corresponding acceleration in company spending on digital advertising.


Average score 2021

1. Coolblue (Netherlands)


2. (Netherlands)


3. Hunkemöller (Netherlands)


4. Telia Norway (Norway)


5. HEMA (Netherlands)


6. Telecom (Italy)


7. Telenor Norway (Norway)


8. Meny (Norway)


9. Ocado (UK)


10. Elkjøp (Norway)



Average score 2021

1. Netherlands


2. UK


3. Sweden


4. Norway


5. Finland


6. Italy


7. Ireland



Average score 2021

1. Retail


2. Telco


3. Banking


4. Insurance


5. Energy


6. Media


7. Consumer products


Digital dimension

Average score 2021

1. Digital product experience


2. E-commerce


3. Digital marketing


4. E-CRM


About our Digital Leaders Study 2021

The BearingPoint Digital Leaders Study 2021 includes 390 companies across seven different industries. We have evaluated the companies’ maturity in their digital customer interaction based on 239 criteria in four digital dimensions: digital marketing, digital product experience, e-commerce and e-CRM. The company selection was based on turnover and decision-making in the local countries. The research was conducted from August to October 2020. Points are based on a grading scale from 0 to 5 where 0=failed, 1=poor, 2=sufficient, 3=good, 4=very good, and 5=excellent.

The full study is available here:

About BearingPoint

BearingPoint is an independent management and technology consultancy with European roots and a global reach. The company operates in three business units: The first unit covers the advisory business with a clear focus on five key areas to drive growth across all regions. The second unit provides IP-driven managed services beyond SaaS and offers business critical services to its clients supporting their business success. The third unit provides the software for successful digital transformation. It is also designed to explore innovative business models with clients and partners by driving the financing and development of start-ups and leveraging ecosystems.

BearingPoint’s clients include many of the world’s leading companies and organizations. The firm has a global consulting network with more than 10,000 people and supports clients in over 70 countries, engaging with them to achieve measurable and sustainable success.

For more information, please visit:

Twitter: @BearingPoint


Alexander Bock

Global Manager Communications

Telephone: +49 89 540338029


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