L2 Digital IQ Index: Top Department Store Brands in Digital 2017

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L2 Digital IQ Index: Top Department Store Brands in Digital 2017

The shifting retail landscape has not been friendly to department stores. U.S. chains, including J.C. Penney and Dillard’s, have registered annual sales declines of nearly $75 billion, since 1999.

Shoppers are, instead, turning to Amazon, whose North American growth since 2010, has eclipsed the 2016 fiscal year revenues of Macy’s, Nordstrom and Sears, combined. Meanwhile, off-price retailers, including Burlington and T.J. Maxx, have benefited from their appeal to budget-conscious millennials, and opened more than 350 locations, in the past two years.

In the face of such competition, U.S. department stores have doubled down on their tried-and-true discounting strategy, offered with ever-increasing frequency, over the past year. However, consumers have become de-sensitized to this incessant stream, opening discount emails at lower than average rates. Omnichannel efforts, which represent the greatest differentiator and growth opportunity, have remained stagnant across index brands, year on year.

But region-specific investment trends have emerged. While U.S. department stores exhibit near universal adoption of in-store returns for online orders, they lag other regions in “buy online, pick-up in-store” functionality. Beyond brand sites, department stores’ apps afford another touchpoint in the consumer experience, and index brands’ increased frequency of app updates reflect their efforts to differentiate.

Macy’s reclaims the number one spot in this year’s L2 Digital IQ Index – Department stores. The brand boasts best-in-class omnichannel and customer service features, as well as strong social media presence, including Facebook engagement three times the index average.

Nordstrom captures second place, with onsite content and celebrity partnerships, and a mobile app with robust omnichannel capabilities, letting consumers shop at nearby locations.

This study attempts to quantify the digital competence of 64 department store brands, operating in 14 different markets globally.

For these and more insights, visit L2Inc.com.