Big Box 2014

November 24, 2014

Key Findings Site E-Commerce

  • While many retailers claim to be building omnichannel infrastructure as
    quickly as possible, slow movers risk getting caught in a perpetual mode of
    “catch up.”
  • While 88% of Big Box brands are e-commerce enabled, only half facilitate in-store pick-up, less than a third offer same-day delivery and just a fifth let customers reserve items in-store without requiring online payment.
  • With the proliferation of smartphones and the rise of cross-shopping behavior, sales that start on the Web and conclude in a store will account for nearly 60% of U.S. retail sales by 2018.

Key Findings Digital Marketing

  • Big Box brands have been slow to adapt to broader changes in the digital marketing landscape. While programmatic media drives an average of 38% of total impressions, Big Box garners only 30% by this method.
  • Amazon is outpacing brands in product search visibility, controlling the greatest ownership of first-page search results in 11 out of 14 Big Box-related keywords.

Key Findings Social Media

  • Over 90% of brands are present on Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter, with varying degrees of success and sophistication. For instance, only 46% of brands have auxiliary accounts, while Kmart and Sears have deployed secondary accounts to more than double their reach. Meanwhile, Whole Foods boasts 3.8 million followers to lead the pack.
  • Some flashes of experimentation can be found on Instagram and Pinterest. Five brands have embraced "Like2Buy," while 26% of Index brands are deploying "rich pins" on Pinterest, linking back to e-commerce sites with price and inventory information.

Key Findings Mobile

  • Big Box brands generally recognize the importance of mobile investment, evidenced by the 97% of profiled entities maintaining a mobile-optimized site. However, most are not strategically developing mobile properties, as functionality lags behind desktop sites.
  • Forward-thinking brands like Home Depot have made significant strides toward provisioning inventory information directly to consumers on-the-go, while the rest of the pack struggles to keep up. Only 22% of brands let shoppers check local inventory, compared to 59% of desktop shoppers, a glaring flaw in the omnichannel shopping era.

About the Report

The inaugural Digital IQ Index® for Big Box retailers reveals a wide spectrum of digital competence, with only 25% of brands categorized as Gifted or above. Genius brands began investing in digital over a decade ago, driving innovation that keeps moving the goalposts forward, and further out of reach for laggards. Outside of Office Supplies (Gifted) and Grocery (Challenged), category-wide performance does not deviate far from Average, demonstrating gross conformity across a variety of brands and distinct business models. Surprisingly, an eighth of brands have not invested in e-commerce and the majority of retailers fail to offer responsive design.

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