While omnichannel has become a cornerstone of retail strategy, few brands have managed to provide online and in-store solutions that are both synchronized and sophisticated. Just 9% of brands in L2’s omnichannel report are “Leaders,” underscoring the daunting requirements of mounting a successful, channel-agnostic strategy that includes informative store locator pages, fully integrated store inventory on sites, and flexible fulfillment options at checkout.
But while relatively few brands are establishing themselves as leaders, they’ve left a roadmap to success in their wake that even the most reluctant sectors can co-opt. Brands playing catch-up need to build an implementation roadmap that drives both e-commerce and in-store benefits while taking into account the complexity of implementation. Balancing these considerations reveals a grid of user experience and infrastructural implementations that drive different consumer behaviors.
Luxury, home, and beauty brands in particular have begun pairing cosmetic changes to their sites with wholesale upgrades in fulfillment capabilities to improve their omnichannel competency. As many as 43% of home brands analyzed in L2’s Omnichannel: Pathways to Success report allowed their customers to add a preferred store to online accounts in 2017, up from none in 2016. And all brands in this sector offered next-day shipping as of 2017, up from 86% in 2016.
More broadly, overall brand adoption of most key omnichannel site features has risen year over year, an indication that industries across the board recognize omnichannel as a critical component of success. The increasing prevalence of omnichannel capabilities will likely reinforce consumers’ expectations, forcing the industry to advance even further in the years to come.