Retailers across product categories are focusing strategically on integrating their business divisions and improving their omnichannel customer experiences.
Of all retail players, L2 spotlighted Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus as omnichannel leaders in a new report. The research firm also highlighted other industry players for their efforts. In the luxury category, Gucci and Louis Vuitton had significant omnichannel gains in 2015, largely driven by their e-Commerce efforts. Mass retailers Walmart and Best Buy, meanwhile, were recognized for their efforts to drive in-store traffic and engagement.
The Intelligence Report: Omnichannel Retail study is designed to identify the key brands, rends and strategies that are successfully converging digital and in-store experiences. The study, which was developed in partnership with RichRelevance, examines the efforts of 116 U.S. retailers and 18 European brands, and quantifies the organizational and technological best practices that enable omnichannel excellence.
Trends and best practices spotlighted in the report include:
- Real-time inventory visibility: Nearly half (48%) of U.S. retail brands have real-time in-store inventory visibility, up from 36% in 2014. Luxury brands, however, are lagging in this area. Only 8% of brands in this category offer real-time inventory visibility.
- In-store pickup: Despite the buzz surrounding omnichannel fulfillment, only 31% of U.S. retailers provide online shoppers with click-and-collect. European retailers are far more advanced in this area, with 88% of brands offering this feature.
- Free shipping: The total number of aspirational and prestige brands offering free shipping by price point has fallen to 66% and 72%, respectively.
- Email marketing: Retailers are refining their email marketing strategies in an effort to drive in-store traffic. The number of retailers using email to promote omnichannel sales, store-only sales and flexible fulfillment increased over the past year. However, the amount of emails showing online-only sales fell from 35% to 31%.
“Brands excelling at omnichannel are providing inventory transparency across channels, leveraging their brick-and-mortar footprint as fulfillment centers, and using technology to enhance customer engagement,” said Maureen Mullen, Co-Founder and Head of Research at L2. “In 2012, only one in seven consumers visiting stores were touched by digital; now it’s every two out of three consumers. The biggest mistake a brand can make is size their digital investment to their e-Commerce business. To be successful in omnichannel retail, brands should be scaling their digital investment to the size of the overall business.”
Click here to access the full report.