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Top 10 Retailers in Cross-Channel Consistency
By Adam Blair
Creating a unified, coherent customer experience across multiple channels remains a work in progress for many retailers, even as the industry advances in several key measures of cross-channel consistency. According to the third Cross-Channel Readiness Study, promotion consistency, social sharing, ratings and review offerings and mobile commerce all increased year-over-year, in some cases by significant margins. For example, only 12% of retailers offered a mobile app for smartphones in 2011; in 2012, this figure had risen to 56%.
"Consistent promotions" also saw strong gains, rising from 65% of retailers last year to 79% in 2012. Social sharing, already high at 88% last year, notched up to 92% this year.
However, retailers still lag in several key operational and data visibility areas:
· Less than one-third (28%) offer in-store pickup of merchandise bought online
· Only 20% offer in-store pickup of m-commerce purchases
· Just under half (48%) of store associates can see product availability in other store locations
· Only 24% of retailers show in-store availability of products through their mobile-optimized websites.
The study, conducted by CrossView, evaluated retailers across online, in-store, mobile and call center channels using a mystery shopping approach over a two-week period. Criteria included consistency of pricing and promotions, access to customer profile information, merchandising, and, to the extent possible, overall parity of experience between touchpoints. While a total of more than 80 retailers were studied, the final rankings focus on 26 leaders across a variety of categories.
Evaluated on a scale of 280 possible points, one company achieved a perfect score. Best Buy repeated its leading performance from 2011 and also improved on last year's score. While the company is struggling overall, its ability to create a consistent experience across all touchpoints is unmatched in the industry.
Other top performers included GameStop, American Eagle, Toys "R" Us, Coach and Target.
At the bottom of the list, Burlington Coat Factory scored only 70 points. Others with a long way to go toward cross-channel consistency include Hot Topic and The Buckle, each scoring 110, followed closely by Gander Mountain (112.5); The Children's Place (135); and at 140 each, Abercrombie & Fitch and PetSmart.
Following are the Top 10 retailers in cross-channel consistency as ranked by CrossView. Retailers were scored out of a total of 280 points. Because of tie scores in several places, a total of 14 companies are listed:
1. Best Buy 280
2. GameStop 245
3. Sears 230
4. (tie) American Eagle; Toys "R" Us 225
5. (tie) Coach; Target 215
6. The Limited 205
7. Foot Locker 195
8. (tie) Dick's Sporting Goods; Urban Outfitters 190
9. Ralph Lauren 165
10. (tie) Aéropostale; J. Crew 155
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