Retail chain omnichannel growth could be one contributor to growing web sales for these top companies. Consumer insights show that people like omnichannel options mostly for convenience and saving time.

Major retail chains are making omnichannel features a priority—a smart move as 85% of consumers have shopped both online and in a physical store in the past six months, with 73% of these shoppers using buy online pick up in store (BOPIS). This comes from an Internet Retailer and Bizrate Insights consumer survey of 1,110 consumers in early 2019.

According to the most recent data in Internet Retailer’s Top 1000 Database, Walmart Inc. (No. 3 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000), Macy’s Inc. (No. 5), Otto Group (No. 6), The Home Depot (No. 7) and Staples Inc. (No. 8) are the top five retail chains in Internet Retailer’s 2019 Top 1000, ranked by online sales. There are 215 retail chains ranked in the Top 1000.

Of the top chains, only Macy’s offers the majority (88.9%, or eight of nine) of omnichannel features Internet Retailer tracks: buy online pick up in store, curbside pickup, customer assistance services, making an in-store appointment online, ship from store, store locator and store returns. Macy’s does not offer the option for shoppers to reserve an item online and pick it up in stores.

Walmart and Home Depot both offer six features, whereas Otto Group and Staples only offer five. Otto Group is the parent company of Crate and Barrel, Venus Holdings and more.

Nordstrom Inc., No. 18 in the Top 1000 and No. 11 among the top retail chains, was the only retailer to offer all nine omnichannel features.

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The median number of omnichannel features that 215 retail chains in the Top 1000 offer is three. All but one top 10 retail chain offers four or more features, with Kroger Inc. (No. 17 in the Top 1000 and the 10th-highest ranking retail chain) only offering two. The top 10 retail chains have an average web growth rate of 19.8%. In comparison, the bottom 10 retail chains in the Internet Retailers 2019 Top 1000 only offer three or fewer omnichannel options and have an average web growth rate of just 12.9%.

The three most popular omnichannel features retail chains offer are an online store locator (186 of the 215 retail chains), store returns of online orders (148 retail chains) and BOPIS (101 retail chains).

“The bottom line is we want to meet the customer where they are, offer them what they want, when they want it, how they want it. That’s the omnichannel approach we’re really tackling,” a Walmart spokesman said, according to the 2019 Internet Retailer Omnichannel Report. “The pickup tower specifically, that’s a great example of marrying the two and connecting an online experience and a brick-and-mortar experience.”

That strategy is working for Walmart, as 68% of consumers report they have visited and/or shopped both Walmart’s online and physical store in the past six months, an Internet Retailer/Bizrate Insights survey shows.

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Of those who booked a service online anywhere, 90% of the 463 respondents were satisfied with their ultimate experience, according to the Internet Retailer/Bizrate Insights consumer survey of 1,202 people in early 2019.

The reason behind consumer satisfaction is, in part, due to consumers wanting to take care of something on their own terms and timing (38% of 1,202 consumers), having the ability to research online and then go to the store to interact with a product (33%) and the convenience of booking online (32%).

“At The Home Depot, we began our interconnected retail journey a few years ago to help our customers shop whenever, wherever and however they want,” said Matt Jones, senior director of online and mobile at Home Depot, according to the Omnichannel report. “We’ve invested in our stores, our online and mobile capabilities and in our fulfillment offerings to create a friction-less customer experience that we call ‘One Home Depot.’ Our customers have responded well to these investments as we see mobile traffic continue to rise and about 48% of orders placed online picked up in stores.”

April Berthene is the author of the 2019 Internet Retailer Omnichannel Report

This article is based on new analysis of retail chains in the Top 1000, exclusive consumer surveys and analysis from the Internet Retailer 2019 Omnichannel Report. This 71-page report includes more than 10 charts with insights into emerging omnichannel technology, the top omnichannel retailers and more consumer insights. You can learn how to purchase the 2019 Internet Retailer Omnichannel Report here.

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