The retail industry has gone through unprecedented change since the dawn of e-commerce, giving rise to a new requirement of competency across mobile, desktop, and brick-and-mortar. Brands of all ilks have had to hemorrhage their brick-and-mortar footprints, or at least consolidate to remain competitive. But retail has reached a tipping point. Successful brands revitalize their stores and use them to enhance fulfillment capabilities; less successful brands are watching their stores turn into necessary cost centers.
Over half of brands analyzed year over year in L2’s fifth annual omnichannel report have improved both in-store and e-commerce incentives, while another 22% have improved their in-store offerings. Alongside more robust e-commerce delivery options, the marked upward change in drive-to-store tactics indicates that retailers have adapted to a channel-agnostic world, and stand to gain new paths to growth.
Target added three new fulfillment options in 2017: Drive Up, same-day delivery, and next-day delivery via Target Restock. These represented a move beyond the retailer’s initial in-store pickup and ship-from-store capabilities. Furthermore, the majority of Target’s digital order volume was processed through stores as of Q3 2017, proving that stores can bolster digital commerce initiatives.
In another sign of brands’ evolution, adoption of real time in-store inventory on product pages has climbed from 35% to 62% among brands analyzed year over year. The specialty retail and beauty verticals made especially large leaps. Over three-quarters of specialty retailers offer this feature, compared to 9% in 2016. Similarly, 67% of beauty brands display inventory, a substantial increase from last year, when the number was zero.