US department store Sears and UK footwear retailer Schuh top Forrester’s 2015 retail omnichannel functionality benchmark across all categories: online experience, channel consistency, in-store pickup, and in-store experience. Out of the 20 leading retailers from the UK and the US evaluated by Forrester, Sears and Schuh received high marks for services like omnichannel returns, i.e., allowing the return of both online and store orders by mail or in-store. US retailer The Home Depot achieved a best-in-class score for inventory visibility, allowing customers to check store stock levels across all digital touchpoints, down to the specific number of items available, and order online for same-day in-store collection.
On the whole, the benchmark also showed that UK and US retailers that are still struggling with legacy systems, inefficient processes, and slow investment in upgrading supporting technology quickly fall behind the omnichannel capabilities of competitors and peers. For example, New Look in the UK still takes two days to ship orders to stores for customer collection, compared with a UK market standard of next day. Even retailers with high overall scores have room for improvement. For example, Argos has a top-two overall UK score, but, at the time of this benchmark evaluation, its gift cards remained channel-specific, preventing customers from using the same gift card to buy across all touchpoints, whether digital or in-store.
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