Department Stores 2015

August 31, 2015

Key Findings Site & E-Commerce

  • In 2013, only 34 percent of Department Store Index brands offered shoppers the option to order online, pickup in-store. Today, half of Index brands offer this capability, while simultaneously investing in other omnichannel initiatives.
  • Department Store brands look to create a more dynamic shopping experience through enhanced guided selling elements, but lag in full development of these features. Among the 74 percent of  brands that offer editorial content on site, only half of that miscellaneous content leads to a product (53 percent).

Key Findings Digital Marketing

  • Department Store Index brands’ websites are visible in less than 10 percent of search results in APAC, compared to a global Index average of 13 percent and the Index leader in North America at 16 percent.
  • Luxury Index brands have made significant gains in email marketing, now engaging in nearly the same volume sending as Mass Index brands, averaging 2.8 emails a week, compared to Mass’s average of 2.9.

Key Findings Social Media

  • In the wake of changes to Facebook’s page rank algorithm, which have severely limited organic reach, the number of posts per week has risen by nearly 20 percent year over year (19 percent). The percent growth of community size, however, has fallen from 44 percent to 22 percent over the same timespan.
  • As the ability to reach users organically remains a key feature on Instagram, its use as a tool for communicating with customers remains strong, as evidenced by the robust average interaction rate for Department Store Index brands on Instagram - nearly 100 times that of Twitter.

Key Findings Mobile

  • Though nearly all (91 percent) of Department Store Index brand mobile sites are now optimized, they’re often stripped-down versions of existing sites, with 72 percent lacking key desktop site features.
  • Mobile sites redeem themselves, however, by more frequently enabling geolocation than desktop, leveraging the innate advantages of mobile. Among omnichannel capabilities, mobile sites offering live inventory have jumped dramatically from 19 percent to 42 percent year over year.
  • Brands have additionally enlisted the help of mobile apps to refresh their loyalty programs. Thirty-nine percent of Department Store Index brands with mobile apps offer some loyalty card functionality.

About the Report

While macro data paints a picture of the category in decline, the format’s performance is considerably more nuanced. Select forward-looking brands have displayed surprising resilience, leading the move into digital with strong omnichannel and e-commerce initiatives. The 2015 Digital IQ Index®: Department Stores assesses the digital performance of 58 Department Store brands, spanning both Mass and Luxury product segments. This year’s study took into consideration the omnichannel efforts, guided selling strategies, and social media initiatives of global Department Stores in 17 countries.

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