As traditional retailers shutter unprofitable stores, evolved retailers are finding profits by building their brick-and-mortar presence. However, they have been slow to implement the omnichannel investments that have become increasingly commonplace among their old-school counterparts – even though doing so could benefit their bottom line.

Three out of four traditional retailers tracked in L2’s Intelligence Report: Omnichannel Retail allow customers to return online purchases in stores, while only 32% of evolved retailers do the same, according to L2’s Intelligence Report: Death of Pureplay Retail. And while half of traditional retailers offer real-time in-store inventory on product pages, only 5% of evolved retailers do likewise.

Evolved pureplay brands could benefit financially from employing these omnichannel strategies. When a customer buys something online and exchanges it directly, the resulting net sale only amounts to 77% of the original transaction. However, an online transaction followed by an exchange in a physical store results in a net sale of 107%.

Net sales given omnichannel capabilities

Another omnichannel strategy, ship-from-store capabilities, can make shipping faster and cheaper. Employing this strategy would also help evolved retailers expand their distribution networks beyond the reach of pureplay rivals. But while 11% of brands in the Omnichannel Index have implemented ship-from-store— from big box retailers like Walmart and Lowe’s to department stores like Neiman Marcus and Macy’s—none of the evolved retailers tracked by L2 have made corresponding investments.


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