Recent studies suggest that brands should improve shoppers’ browsing experience, even if it does not lead to immediate online conversion. Those who browse online and head to the store generate four times the sales of an online-only shopper, and web-influenced sales (starting on a digital channel and ending in-store) will account for 59% U.S. retail sales by 2018. Yet most brands either focus heavily on e-commerce without driving consumers to stores, or encourage in-store shopping and offer no e-commerce option. Exceptions in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box are omnichannel role models Sears, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and Macy’s.
Overall Office Supplies and Electronics are the most omnichannel-savvy Big Box sub-categories, with all brands supporting in-store inventory search and in-store pickup for online purchases. Grocery remains the least savvy; none of the grocery brands in the L2 study show in-store inventory status.