Despite copious omnichannel and mobile investments, few Big Box retailers nail the in-store experience. Four out of five customers report “poor” experiences with in-store technology, and Amazon’s recent entry into the brick-and-mortar fray can only raise their expectations.

In response, retailers are investing heavily in fulfillment. But the transition is far from seamless: last year on Cyber Monday, 60% of orders for in-store pickup experienced issues such as advertising sold-out items as “available.” As digital skills become increasingly imperative for success, L2’s Digital IQ Index: Big Box pinpoints the retailers with the highest digital competence.

Top 10 Big Box Retailers 

1. Home Depot
Digital IQ: 152

The Genius brand leads in organic search for the Hardware and Appliances category, appearing on nearly 60% of keywords. Its sophisticated Instagram feed is also shoppable through Like2Buy, and the brand garners the second-highest number of interactions on Twitter by effectively using retweets and hashtags.

2. Best Buy
Digital IQ: 149

Best Buy dominates search visibility in Consumer Electronics and Appliances, showing up on first-page organic results for two out of three non-branded search terms and capturing almost half of PLAs. The tailored site experience displays personalized product recommendations as soon as users log in, and enhanced registry capabilities enable group gifting and live-sync with third party sites.

3. Walmart
Digital IQ: 134

The retail giant’s recent acquisition of highlights its ambitions to become an online marketplace. Walmart’s commitment to using technology to improve the customer experience is also evidenced in its best-in-class grocery app, which allows customers to add items to their cart, then select a pick-up time, check out seamlessly and have groceries loaded into their car for free.

3. Wayfair
Digital IQ: 134

Wayfair boasts the highest organic search visibility in Home & Furniture, and its site makes clear the brand’s digital acumen with a variety of shoppable editorial content. From articles and “editors’ tips” to gift ideas and DIY projects, all the content is mobile-friendly and easily links to purchase.


5. Lowe’s
Digital IQ: 130

The retailer emulates Genius brand Home Depot’s best practices when it comes to product pages, such as displaying real-time in-store inventory. The brand’s robust mobile app can also be used to locate products in physical stores, and DIY tutorials drive strong engagement on Facebook and Snapchat.

5. Target
Digital IQ: 130

In an era where many brands are turning away from apps, Target successfully maintains an entire suite of them, including digital coupon app Cartwheel. Target also boasts sophisticated product pages replete with cross-selling recommendations and in-store inventory, and the “Perks” rewards program encourages in-store purchases.

5. Toys “R” Us
Digital IQ: 130

The toy seller is one of the Index leaders when it comes to leveraging data obtained during user account sign-up to target marketing emails more accurately. Content-rich product pages feature interactive demos, and rapid load times contribute to the frictionless site experience.

8. Overstock
Digital IQ: 127

Overstock’s highly optimized checkout process requires the fewest number of clicks from product page to purchase. The brand also punches above its weight class in organic search visibility, appearing on 58% of non-branded terms in the Home & Furniture category.

8. PetSmart
Digital IQ: 127

PetSmart dominates organic search visibility in the Pet Supplies category, appearing on 60% of relevant search terms. Early adoption of Instagram Stories expanded the brand’s reach and user engagement, cementing its role in the top 10 brands generating interactions on the platform.

8. Walgreens
Digital IQ: 127

The innovative Walgreens app features a fitness tracker that links to the loyalty program, easy prescription refill by scan, and Touch ID login, and exceptional account functionality includes a partnership with MDLive that lets users video chat with a doctor. The retailer was one of the first to promote videos on Pinterest, further illustrating its digital leadership.


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