LONDON: Asos, H&M and Net-a-Porter are the speciality retailers making the most effective use of digital media to engage European consumers, a new study has found.

L2, the think-tank, assessed 55 leading players in terms of their brand websites, digital marketing efforts, social media usage and activity on mobile phones and tablets.

Asos, the UK online fashion retailer, led on 156 points, praised for utilising Facebook-commerce, tying its YouTube channel to its website and blogs, and building a consumer-to-consumer marketplace.

It also provides purchase options via mobile phones, has a dedicated Twitter customer service feed, and even ran a campaign promising free one-on-one style advice through calls on Skype in November.

H&M, the Swedish fast-fashion brand, claimed second on 148 points, having already embraced Google+, secured the highest number of Twitter followers and YouTube hits, and created a "virtual dressing room" on its website.

Net-a-Porter, another fashion ecommerce site, logged the same total, credited for taking to picture-sharing platform Instagram and offering real-time worldwide purchase monitoring on its website, where it also runs the Fashion Fix "social hub".

Sephora, the French beauty group, yielded 142 points thanks to its mobile-optimised site, a wide range of "how-to" online videos, a customer forum and "best in class" iPad and iPhone apps.

These were the only four members of the list to be afforded "genius" status, meaning their use of digital media has helped deliver genuine differentiation.

A further 14 firms were "gifted", or had started making major strides in the same direction. This group was headed by Lacoste, the French fashion label, on 127 points, Diesel, the Italian fashion brand, on 126 points.

More broadly, companies from the UK posted the strongest average scores, on 122 points, ahead of Spanish counterparts on 104 points, and French rivals on 87 points, according to the analysis.

In all, 98% of the featured assets were active on Facebook, 87% possessed an ecommerce presence, 85% had Twitter accounts and 80% added videos to YouTube.

Another 47% had developed iPhone apps, falling to 31% for similar tools on the iPad, 24% for mobile-optimised websites and 20% regarding applications for Google's Android operating system.

Data sourced from L2; additional content by Warc staff