Department stores are making mobile a priority when redesigning their sites: 47% of brands in L2’s Department Store Index now support responsive design, up from 10% last year. However, many brand sites continue to lag behind in e-commerce and other site investments.
While 93% of department stores sell directly to consumers via their brand sites, nearly one in five separates its e-commerce platform from its brand site, according to the study. This hinders brands from offering consumers a seamless checkout experience. Furthermore, about 7% of department stores push e-commerce to individual store properties. For example, Fenwick’s website is divided into location-specific sub-pages. The brand’s social media accounts are similarly divided with each location posting different content, creating a disjointed impression.
The study shows that department stores have made scant progress when it comes to other site investments. Brand support for cross-selling (e.g., “You Might Also Like”) and live chat has plateaued at 76% and 24% respectively, unchanged from 2014.
Loyalty programs have expanded significantly, driven by retailers outside the U.S. Looking at brands tracked since 2013, 82% feature a loyalty program, a substantial increase from previous years. However, investment in multiple languages remains low at 37%, hindering retailers from expanding further globally as U.S. sales in the sector slow.
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