Amazon, Home Depot and Walmart are the top three retailers in terms of digital performance, and big-box retailers in general have stepped up their digital games, according to the L2 Digital IQ Index Big Box report.
The L2 report, which benchmarks the digital performance of 58 big-box brands operating in the U.S., also found that such retailers are increasing in-store mobile capabilities, with 69% offering barcode scanning through their apps, 39% providing scannable coupons and 25% displaying in-store mapping on mobile.
When it comes to e-commerce, 58% of the brands studied that have physical locations promote services online to drive customers into stores, but only 20% of them offer online registration.—
This report suggests big-box retailers have made a lot of progress in building bridges between mobile, online capabilities and in-store experiences. However, they could still do a lot more.
While the number of retailers encouraging store visits through online promotion is promising, the lack of online registration leaves much to be desired. Along similar lines, only 40% of brands promote in-store events online, with just 16% of brands offering online registration for those events, according to the report.
Although that aspect of e-commerce could use work, big-box retailers are expanding their horizons in other ways, as many begin partnerships with Google Express. The report said 28% of the 58 brands studied are now working with Google Express to be featured in shopping searches made on Google Home devices. Among those are two big-box retailers not named Amazon — Walmart and Home Depot.
As we've seen in recent months, Walmart has taken its partnership with Google a step further by integrating Walmart accounts with customers' Google accounts, as well as supporting voice ordering for many products, all in the interest of creating a conversational commerce-based bond with customers before Amazon and Alexa lay claim to them.
Even retailers that haven't been among the most progressive in creating quality digital experiences still have time to make an impact by taking notes from leading brands like Walmart, Target and Best Buy, who all increased their online sales year-over-year between Q1 and Q3 2017, according to Griffin Carlborg, an associate at L2 Inc.
"Doomsayers may talk of the 'retail apocalypse," Carlborg said, "but the battle is not over yet, and winning brands are those innovating on the retail experience to compete against Amazon's deep discounts and massive assortment."