The National Retail Federation and e-digital consultancy FitForCommerce announced today the release of their first Omnichannel Retail Index, a report that examines 120 retailers across multiple categories and their use of omnichannel strategies across web, mobile and store, such as buy online pick up in store, real-time inventory availability and mobile optimized websites.
The report and partnership set the stage for future content, research and thought leadership opportunities. The next bi-annual index is slated to be released in 2016.
“In an increasingly competitive landscape, retailers are taking a truly customer-centric approach to running their business and developing innovative solutions to meet their customers’ expectations,” said NRF Senior Vice President and Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell. “The NRF-FitForCommerce Omnichannel Retail Index provides the industry an in-depth and practical method to benchmark their organization’s initiatives in the digital space against best practices from around the industry and all the methods that exist when it comes to how customers engage with brands across all touchpoints.”
“Brands and retailers need to or already are concentrating enormous resources on enabling the omnichannel customer, whether the brand or retailer calls it omnichannel or not,” said Bernardine Wu, CEO of FitForCommerce. “The NRF-FitForCommerce Omnichannel Retail Index is a guide for vetting business cases and prioritizing investments, especially because today’s innovations become tomorrow’s best practices, which become the next day’s table stakes.”
To adequately measure retailers’ use and delivery of these services across the industry, FitForCommerce in July 2015 used a mystery shopping method to evaluate specific omnichannel offerings and capabilities across web and mobile sites as well as in-store.
Some of the key findings in the report include:
- Half of the bricks-and-mortar Index retailers show in-store product availability on their product detail pages;
- Another half let customers look up in-store inventory on their mobile device;
- 23 percent offer buy online pick up in store options for their customers;
- 84 percent let registered customers see a bag or a cart that is consistent across different platforms;
- Nearly half of multichannel retailers provide in-store signage designed to educate shoppers about their omninchannel offerings (buy online pick up in store, reserve online, etc.);
- Three out of five retailers in the Index offer “save for later” functionality with their online shopping cart;
- Half of the retailers offer free return shipping; and
- Three-quarters of the retailers in the Index offer a “click to call” service feature on their mobile websites.