Until this year, a small crop of retail brands spearheaded efforts to align storefronts with digital platforms, while the rest met, at most, baseline customer expectations. In Gartner L2’s Omnichannel: 2018 report, for example, only 9% of brands claimed a Leader position in the quadrant.
However, this year’s study witnessed a surge in Leaders from multiple sectors, driven by an uptick in adopting key features and capabilities. For example, adoption of in-store pickup during check-out climbed 49% year over year, driven by big box retailers, department stores, and specialty retail. Other essential features have also increased, such as Buy Online, Pickup in Store (BOPIS), and listing store services.
Large-format retailers haven’t been the only sectors to lead the charge. Half of activewear brands support BOPIS, compared to last year’s 30%, and 78% of fashion brands offer the service, up from 44%. Less digitally mature retail sectors have also improved integrating their in-store inventory across the funnel: 67% of watch and jewelry brands showcase inventory in-stocks on product display pages — a significant bump from last study’s 33%. The progress witnessed from retailers of all sectors indicates a commitment to digital, and a renewed sense of urgency to catch up with innovators.
One brand demonstrating this progress is Tiffany & Co., which enables users to save preferred stores—a feature previously associated with large-format retailers.
From the store locator page, Tiffany & Co. shoppers can select their preferred store, which is then accessible from a homepage header dropdown menu. Additionally, the jeweler includes store services, individual store pages, in-store appointments, and events, a feature employed by only 29% of brands in this sector. Shoppers can then view inventory availability at their preferred store from the product page, easing the store visit experience.