Internet Retailer’s 2019 Omnichannel Report reveals which top retail chains execute omnichannel services the best and which ones need improvement. Like it did with ecommerce and fulfillment expectations, Amazon's well-designed omnichannel execution now raises the stakes for other merchants.

When it comes to omnichannel services, Walmart Inc., Target Corp. and the Home Depot Inc. have the most robust features that are also the best executed among top retail chains.

These three retailers scored the highest in Internet Retailer’s just-released 2019 Omnichannel Report. The report evaluates the omnichannel services at 10 retail chains and ranks them based on two mystery shopping experiences at both an urban and suburban store.

Walmart, Target and Home Depot not only provided a smooth buy online pick up in store experience in both locations, but also scored points for offering innovative omnichannel features, such as curbside pickup and in-app directions. These three top retail chains have also made investments in changing their stores to better cater to digital shoppers, such as modifying store layouts to make order pickup easier, adding giant towers to retrieve orders or piloting pickup lockers.

 

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Even more illuminating than ranking the top chains, is the ranking of the 20 stores visited (two visits per retail chain) to evaluate how consistent retailers are with their omnichannel services. Walmart, for example, had its two visited stores rank No. 1 and No. 8, but nabbed the highest composite score. Similarly, Target stores ranked No. 2 and No. 6, and overall ranked in second place. Home Depot was one of the more consistent merchants, with its stores ranking in the No. 3 and No. 4 spots, for an overall third ranking.

Store inconsistencies vary based on how well a retailer rolls out its omnichannel features, if it makes its features available in every location, how well it trains its employees and how well its stores are set up to execute on its omnichannel promises. For example, a retailer may advertise that it allows its store associates to order online products for shoppers from tablets, but if internet doesn’t work in store, then essentially the feature doesn’t exist.

Beyond the top omnichannel chains, Internet Retailer also found that omnichannel innovations  have come a long way in recent years. Our researchers executed multiple tests of curbside pickup with ease, and grocers are finally providing perishable delivery without relying on third-party companies.

Although Amazon.com Inc. wasn’t considered an omnichannel merchant just years ago, now in 2019, the giant very much so has a physical presence. Its pickup locations, lockers, presence in Kohl’s Corp. stores and Whole Foods grocery store footprint are now a significant advantage that Amazon wields. The once web-only giant is now just a retail giant.

The 2019 Omnichannel Report analyzes the current state of omnichannel features and looks ahead to future innovations. This 71-page report includes:

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  • An analysis of the omnichannel operations at 10 top retail chains, plus Amazon
  • How retailers rank based on the results of two mystery shopping expeditions
  • Comparison of omnichannel services in suburban and urban locations
  • Evaluation of emerging omnichannel technologies in retail
  • Survey results of how shoppers currently use omnichannel services and how they plan to in the future

The 2019 Omnichannel Report is available to Digital Commerce 360 Gold and Platinum members as part of their paid memberships. Single-copy sales are available for $299. Get the report now.

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