Screen Shot 2014-06-26 at 3.51.32 PMOmnichannel was one of the top retail buzzwords of 2013, and forward-thinking brands have been working hard to link their e-commerce and in-store businesses. Some of the most promising efforts are apps that connect the in-store shopping experience to online product information. After all, today’s shoppers research online and on their mobile phones before visiting a store.


Kiehl’s, Nordstrom Rack and Guess have created such apps, but their promise far exceeds reality. Kiehl’s mobile app is designed to enable quicker checkout and product research when customers scan merchandise SnapTags, but L2 researchers found no such tags on merchandise at the Kiehl’s Manhattan flagship.


Nordstrom Rack app’s has a search and send feature that looks for the preferred size of a scanned item in all of its locations. But bad reception in the below-ground Union Square store in Manhattan – and no wi-fi – limited its usefulness.


GUESS’s wallet feature serves as a digitized loyalty card, and saves receipts, gift cards and mobile coupons, but L2 researchers found sales associates were unaware of the app and did not know how to use it.


The gap between what happens in-store and what is supposed to happen in-store shows how critical it is for omnichannel to be a company-wide initiative, not just a plan designed by the digital team. For insights on how brands should link their offline and online businesses, stay tuned for our upcomming Omnichannel report.

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