CI&T's annual "Connected Retail Report" ranks the top 10 physical retailers based on their omnichannel shopping experiences. The 2022 report revealed consumers demand personalized and streamlined omnichannel experiences with mobile apps taking center stage.
Some key highlights from the report include:
- Target replaced Nordstrom's for the top spot (up from second in 2020) for its connected retail experiences, including its perfect search, buy, fulfillment and returns scores, combined with near-perfect relationship-building and cart scores.
- While 2020 was a monumental moment for omnichannel as a response to the pandemic, 2021 saw all retailers focusing on perfecting those omnichannel experiences.
- In addition to Target, Home Depot and Walmart were the only connected retailers to make it into the top ten for a second time, demonstrating how many retailers have caught up to and surpassed the original top ten.
In October of 2021, CI&T surveyed 415 U.S. consumers of all generations, races and genders to capture their purchase preferences and shifts in buying behaviors over the last year. The survey aimed to uncover key motivations along the path to purchase, and it helped inform an audit of 99 retailers’ omnichannel strategies. Following are the results of the consumer insights survey and the rankings from the design team’s retailer evaluations.
CI&T’s connected retailer ranking:
- Apple Store
- Home Depot
- Levi Strauss
- American Eagle
- Ulta Beauty
In addition, the average total score across the top ten retailers this year was significantly higher than the average total score across the top ten last year. Noteworthy, new to the top ten brands this year like Apple, Levi’s, and DSW deserve special honorary mention for their "highly visual, enjoyable and customizable user experiences," according to CI&T.
“Last year we saw retailers rapidly implementing connected retail experiences in response to the pandemic altering shopping habits nearly overnight,” said Melissa Minkow, director of retail strategy at CI&T and co-author of the report, in a media release. “Now it is clear those changes are here to stay and retailers must use connected retail strategically to build deeper and lasting relationships with their consumers in order to stay relevant.”
From mobile app flow and buy-online-pick-up-in-store (BOPIS) services to site search and ease of returns, overall retailers have improved on their connected retail experience after the onset of the pandemic first forced them to expand their offerings. According to the report, 68% of consumers intentionally seek out retailers with omnichannel experiences, with apps being their preferred way to shop online. Consumers are taking a digital-first approach to shopping and they expect retailers to facilitate this new normal.