While NewStore has championed those brands who have invested in technology the past few years as companies adjusted to uncertainty and constant change, NewStore’s 2023 Omnichannel Leader report highlights changemakers who have invested in both digital transformations and forward-thinking teams of people who have the fortitude to create a better future.
To determine the current state of omnichannel retail, its progress and the availability of critical solutions and services across all brand channels, NewStore’s report looked at more than 300 leading luxury, premium and lifestyle retail brands. The full assessment included a team of mystery shoppers to audit each brand’s online, mobile app and in-store shopping experience to rate omnichannel competence.
Leading the way as the top omnichannel retailer was Hibbett Sports. The company underwent a full digital transformation in 2017 after operating only in physical locations for 70 years. The authors of the report, note that Hibbett Sports used its late arrival to e-commerce to its advantage, launching its online business with proven omnichannel capabilities and truly optimizing rather than implementing.
Shoe Carnival, Bloomingdale’s, Sephora and Lululemon followed Hibbett Sports filling out the top five omnichannel leader’s on NewStore’s report. While Shoe Carnival succeeds in delivering “wow” moments, Bloomingdale’s found its place on the list for investments that have enhanced how the retailer puts the consumer experience front and center. Sephora’s technological advancements were also touted, with the report’s researchers finding each innovation to be a useful technology. Similarly, Lululemon has continued to evolve through investments that have supported its goal of building community and relationships.
Key findings within the report also include the rise in popularity of the endless aisle, which has seen an increase of 315 percent of brands offering the technology today (54 percent of brands now offer endless aisle). Curbside pick-up, however, is seeing a downward trend, seen at just 25 percent in 2022 compared to 34 percent in 2021. Additionally, the report found fewer retail brands are showing available store inventory online with only 31 percent of brands doing this in 2022, down 30 percent from 2021.
Looking across findings from this year’s research as well as reports from the past few years, NewStore notes that while retail has recently undergone “the worst,” more industry disruption is inevitable, and brands will need to continue to invest in a scalable business model. The authors of the report urge all brands to consider in 2023 if there are changes that can be made instead of enduring the inevitable.