Which Are the Top Omnichannel Retailers? Total Retail Ranks Them
In its fourth annual ranking of 100 leading retailers and brands based on their omnichannel capabilities — i.e., programs offered and the execution of those programs — Total Retail, in conjunction with Orckestra, an omnichannel commerce platform provider that unifies retailers’ e-commerce software, mobile commerce, and retail stores, reveals the industry leaders at the forefront of delivering frictionless cross-channel shopping experiences.
With the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on retailers’ businesses, including the temporary closure of physical stores in many cases, having a sound omnichannel strategy that can serve customers in multiple different ways, often in the same purchase journey, has become more critical than ever. This is a trend that we’ve seen building for some time now, but has been significantly accelerated in 2020. And retailers would be wise to plan for continued consumer adoption of omnichannel programs and services post-pandemic.
As part of the 2020 evaluation, which was conducted in July 2020 and August 2020, we visited each retailer’s website as well as one of its brick-and-mortar stores, judging the companies on the following seven omnichannel criteria:
- the ability for customers to buy online, pick up in-store (BOPIS) and/or curbside;
- the ability to search for in-store products on a brand’s digital properties (desktop site, mobile site, mobile app), including stock availability data;
- shared cart across channels for logged-in shoppers (e.g., mobile to desktop);
- the ability for loyalty points to be earned and redeemed across channels;
- cross-channel product returns (e.g., buy online, return in-store, or BORIS);
- ship from store/endless aisle; and
- pricing consistency across channels.
While this year's evaluation saw no company earn all of the total points available, there were six — Bass Pro Shops, Big Lots, Bloomingdale’s, DSW, J.C. Penney, and Zumiez — that tied for the No. 1 position, each earning 9.5 of the 10 total points available. Bloomingdale’s and J.C. Penney tied for the top spot for the second consecutive year. DSW improved from last year’s second place ranking, Zumiez jumped to the No. 1 spot after tying for fifth in last year’s evaluation, Bass Pro Shops improved from a seventh place finish in 2019, and Big Lots moved from eighth to first year-over-year (YoY).
The companies that made the biggest YoY improvements in the rankings included Carter’s, which saw its ranking improve by 10 spots; Chico’s (nine spots); PetSmart (eight spots); and Big Lots and Walmart (both up seven spots). Conversely, the retailers that saw the biggest declines in their YoY rankings were Steve Madden (six spots) and Stein Mart (five spots).
When analyzing the scores by product category, the top performers were Sporting Goods, with an average score of 7.75 for the brands within the category, followed by Department Stores (7.55 average score) and Home Improvement (7.5 average score). At the bottom of the category rankings was Footwear, with an average score of 6.81 for the brands within that group.
Omnichannel Retail Trends Emerge
In addition to ranking individual retailer’s omnichannel performances, this year’s data revealed some industry trends, including the following:
- Nearly 80 percent (78 percent) of loyalty program members can earn and redeem points/rewards across multiple transaction channels for the retailers evaluated in the 2020 report, up from 73 percent last year. A flexible loyalty program is a key perk of membership, one that can help generate the type of repeat purchase activity that’s increasingly rare in today’s ubercompetitive retail landscape.
- The continued adoption of BOPIS programs as well as the introduction of curbside pickup. Eighty percent of the retailers evaluated offer at least some form of BOPIS and curbside pickup, up from 68 percent last year. This number figures only to rise as consumers remain reluctant to spend long periods of time in brick-and-mortar stores, preferring contactless curbside pickup and designated pickup counters in-store.
- An increased focus by retailers to enable cross-channel product returns, a critical function given the increased online shopping we’ve seen during the pandemic. An overwhelming 97 percent of the retailers evaluated offered at least some form of cross-channel returns, whether it be the ability to return an online purchase in-store, or ship back an in-store purchase. This is an improvement from 2019, when 93 percent of retailers offered some level of cross-channel product returns.
The 2020 Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers report is a resource for retailers to measure themselves against their competitors as well as the leading organizations in the industry. It should also serve as a prompt to conduct a self-audit of your company’s omnichannel capabilities, identifying areas of strength — which can be leveraged as differentiators — as well as areas of weakness. As consumer behaviors continue to shift and purchase journeys cross multiple channels, it’s the retailers that have a strong omnichannel infrastructure in place, including technology systems and solutions, that stand to prosper.
Related story: 2020 Top 100 Omnichannel Retailers