Leading discounters, resellers and pure plays continue to gain ground in digital apparel and beauty sales, forcing traditional department stores to focus on their category expertise and physical stores. The top ten brands in Gartner L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores lean into exclusive assortment and personalized store experiences as key differentiators from the growing threat of Amazon and others.

1. Macy’s
Digital IQ: 151

Macy’s maxes out this year’s ranking thanks to rapid omnichannel fulfillment and well-promoted store fulfillment at multiple touchpoints, including Free Pickup Today badges on the brand’s grid page. The store is a leader in showcase ad visibility against beauty keywords in particular, appearing against 50% of terms. Finally, Macy’s leaves its mark on social media, where its beauty expert videos on YouTube earn high view counts.

2. Nordstrom
Digital IQ: 142

Nordstrom is up next with next-level social media performance. Namely, over six million interactions on Instagram. The brand also boasts product pages that help customers easily find nearby products and build an outfit thanks to integration with the Looks tool. Notably, Nordstrom also leads in visibility against vendor terms like “tom ford” in the U.S., appearing against 35% of searches, compared to 28% in 2018.

3. Zalando
Digital IQ: 137

Highly responsive site assets help Zalando zip into third place in this year’s ranking. For example, category pages that include influencer and look integration and Zalon, the brand’s personal stylist service, on its home page. Zalondo also consistently posts on Instagram Stories, using location, mentions and hashtags to help drive visibility. Last but not least, the brand boasts the fastest mobile site out of its peers, loading content in under one second and being visually complete in under two seconds.

4. Otto
Digital IQ: 134

Otto stands out thanks to filter-fueled reviews on its product pages offer where users can sort based on rating, topic and new or positive reviews. The label earns high organic visibility against apparel and home keywords on mobile and supplements visibility with showcase shopping ads. Additionally, Otto wows with the highest engagement on Facebook among European brands, succeeding with product posts that link back to site.

5. Kohl’s
Digital IQ: 133

Kohl’s kicks out the competition with help from an impressive account creation page that offers seamless integration with Yes2You rewards, allowing customers to automatically create a new account or link a store account. The brand jumped in visibility against kids and toy terms with a significant push into showcase shopping ads and leads the index on Pinterest with 41 million posted pins.

6. La Redoute
Digital IQ: 132

This brand brings an impressive digital marketing presence in France, leading in increasingly prominent showcase shopping ads ownership against sales, shoes, and accessories terms in France. Additionally, it saw significant organic visibility across categories and harnesses one of the fastest sites in the index.

7. JCPenney
Digital IQ: 129

JCPenny makes excellent use of omnichannel promotion across its site, including specific callouts during holiday seasons like Mother’s and Father’s Day. It caps off its performance with category pages that feature both omnichannel and non-traditional sorting and filtering options. 

7. John Lewis
Digital IQ: 129

John Lewis snagged a spot in this year’s top ten thanks to some smart moves. It withdrew from low-investment editorial iOS apps altogether, instead focusing on building out interactive beauty features that give customers a better sense of how products look on them.

9. ASOS
Digital IQ: 127

Despite reducing its scope of loyalty offerings, ASOS rededicated attention to its mobile app, which has grown in interactive functionality, making the wishlist more functional and serving increasingly as a discovery platform. For the second year in a row, the e-tailer also saw the largest community size and community growth on Instagram as partnerships and content grow more robust.

10. Marks & Spencer
Digital IQ: 125

Marks & Spencer makes the cut as a leader in mobile experience. The brand boasts some of the highest mobile site visitors, mobile display ad impressions, and widespread sophistication across social platforms.

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