With the collapse of‘R’Us brands, the big box sector has become increasingly hostile. Amazon continues to encroach on new categories, expand fulfillment capabilities, and conquest other retailers’ visibility on Google, placing pressure on all retailers to both evolve and specialize. The following ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box stay successful by leveraging both digital and physical stores, serving as an authority for information and mirroring their own best-in-class in-store customer service online through live chat, rich product pages, and interactive product comparison tools.
1. Amazon Digital IQ: 146
Amazon continues to dominate with a completely monetized site, the fastest mobile site out of all tracked brands, and a perpetually improving presence across categories. The e-commerce giant also earned the third-most views on YouTube with its Alexa Loses Her Voice video, which earned millions of organic hits. Finally, Amazon leverages Prime to capture customer data and drive more customer loyalty than any other retailer in Gartner L2’s study.
2. Best Buy Digital IQ: 141
Best Buy is a force to be reckoned with, leveling up three spots this year. The electronics mecca offers interactive product comparison on both category and product pages to aid shoppers making high consideration purchase decisions. On social media, it leads in customer support with over 50,000 tweets annually and earns the fourth-most interactions with a total community size of over 1.4 million.
3. The Home Depot Digital IQ: 140
The Home Depot aces organic mobile search visibility for appliance queries, appearing on Google against over 80% of relevant category keywords. Its website is decked out with tools such as buying guides on grid pages, category navigation, and a search bar for online shoppers. Finally, the home improvement hub drives significant Twitter engagement with a larger community than 84% of tracked brands.
4. Walmart Digital IQ: 134
After scooping up several digital-first brands on a shopping spree this year, Walmart leads 46% of categories studied in Google Shopping ad visibility. It maintains strong organic visibility against baby care and toys category keywords in particular. Additionally, the corporation earns three times more interactions per post than the brand average on Facebook and rounds out its performance with an interwoven mobile and in-store shopping experience via Walmart Pay Integration.
5. Target Digital IQ: 133
Featured as a popular retailer on the majority of coupon sites studied, Target nabs the second-highest organic visibility against decor keywords in particular, just behind category killer Wayfair. On its site, Target offers a full range of fulfillment options with same-day delivery and pickup as well as advanced site functionalities like add to cart for school-specific shopping lists.
5. Wayfair Digital IQ: 133
Wayfair wins in both text ad and shopping ad visibility against decor and furniture category keywords, increasing spend since 2017. The digital native also has the third-fastest desktop site out of all tracked brands, offering product pages rich with information such as fulfillment times, ratings, reviews, and complementary products. On social media, Wayfair earns the third-highest community growth on Twitter and an Instagram annual community growth that’s more than 85% of all tracked brands.
7. Lowe’s Digital IQ: 132
Lowe’s stays lifted with significant organic visibility against unbranded home and appliance terms, appearing against 70% of queries. On its site, the brand caters to customers’ convenience, geolocating them and showcasing locally available products.
8. Dick’s Sporting Goods Digital IQ: 125
Dick’s Sporting Goods wins with a leading performance on Facebook and Twitter, scoring an average of 14,000 interactions per Facebook post and the most interactions per tweet out of all tracked brands. The retailer also goes a step further than other retailers by adjusting videos to each platform, putting its original one-minute “Play Like You Own It” video on Facebook while posting a slightly extended version of the commercial on YouTube. Capped off with significant promotion, this earned Dick’s more than 20 million views on the platform.
8. REI Digital IQ: 125
REI retains its place as an authority for selling outdoor equipment with a best-in-class performance on Instagram, gathering the most interactions per post and the fourth-largest community out of all tracked brands. Additionally, REI exhibits the ability to drive loyalty by offering lifetime membership for $20, which rewards shoppers with a 10% dividend on purchases. Even as Amazon continues to grow its base of members, REI shot up its total number of members by nearly a million shoppers.
10. Bed Bath & Beyond Digital IQ: 123
Sophisticated search and navigation helped Bed Bath & Beyond slip into this year’s ranking. Features like search previews earn it the most outbound traffic from wedding website The Knot. The brand continues to experiment with BEYOND+, a membership program that it began testing in 2016 and promotes with homepage banners and shopping ads. For $29 annually, the retailer offers free shipping and 20% off every purchase. However, over the past 18 months, the number of site visits per visitor has yet to increase significantly, indicating that the program may be an inefficient driver of loyalty.