It's been clear for a while now that digital is the next frontier for department stores. In nine of the last ten years department store sales have declined. Reaching consumers through multiple channels is becoming not only a norm, but essential to retail success. Research recently done by L2 assessed 40 top department stores across the world and led to a list of ten department stores that are doing the best in the online shopping sphere. Of the 40 department stores looked at despite the fact that 98 percent had a Facebook presence, only 85 percent offered online shopping.
Here are the ten department stores doing the best online:
3) Saks Fifth Avenue
3) Marks and Spencer
5) Neiman Marcus
8) House of Fraser
9) Bergdorf Goodman
10) John Lewis
The biggest takeaway from the research was that there is no single way for retailers to find online success. Nordstrom attributes their success to increased fulfillment capabilities; whereas, Macys claims it owes it all to "branded entertainment" – integrating their brand with other things which translate to sales, such as creating an app that corresponds with the Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade (which I will always argue is the best branding strategy) or making products from the NBC series Fashion Star available for purchase. Saks Fifth Avenue has incorporated large photos of their products as well as videos of models showing off the clothing on their site, while Marks and Spencer has emphasized their desire to use digital capabilities to push their global presence recently announcing that they've invested $1 billion in growing their global sales over the next few years.
Another key takeaway was that there seems to be a lag in moving online for international department stores. There are top department stores in Canada, France, China and a myriad of other countries who haven't even experimented with this retail channel yet. With the growing customer desires for an omnichannel shopping experience, I'm not sure how much longer these retailers will be able to avoid the importance of digital in retail success.
Do you agree these brick-and-mortar department stores are the top ten online?
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<Image: daysofhundr46 – Flickr>