SapientNitro evaluation of leading global retailers

Report finds brands bringing interactivity into their physical stores,but early efforts fall short.

Written by Agencies | Boston | Published: October 20, 2012 5:10:55 pm

Despite the rush to add kiosks,in-wall displays,and other digital interactions to store layouts,only 4 of 71 leading retailers earned passing grades in a four-month evaluation of in-store digital retail experiences,according to Insights 2013,SapientNitro’s second annual publication,examining the evolving nature of consumer experiences in today’s digitized world.

Through a combination of observation,proprietary research and commentary,with Insights 2013,SapientNitro’s idea engineers present their global perspectives on key trends that are impacting today’s experience-led business transformations.

“One of the themes that stood out was the convergence of the digital and physical worlds,” said Hilding Anderson,SapientNitro director of research and insights,and editor-in-chief of Insights 2013. “Today’s consumer is flooded with pervasive,innumerable brand messages,and it’s up to brands to share their stories by utilizing the best times,places and tools to shape purchasing decisions. Combining technology with powerful ideas and insightful perspectives on human moments is key to creating highly relevant ways to connect.”

To lead off Insights 2013,the SapientNitro research team began by conducting an in-depth review of the in-store digital experience. The team independently visited 71 retail flagship stores throughout New York City and ranked them according to SapientNitro’s proprietary scorecard. Surprisingly,only 4 of 71 retailers studied achieved “benchmark” scores for effective use of in-store digital integration — with Sephora,Bloomingdale’s,Macy’s,and American Eagle Outfitters scoring highest,but still far below,the maximum score of 75.

Some key findings of the report:

* Digital in-store displays are powerful tools – but too often are poorly executed. More than 50 percent of retailers evaluated had no visible digital displays.

* Poorly planned digital is worse than no digital at all. Companies that optimize their mobile web content outperform those that don’t by 80 percent in year-over-year increases in web traffic.

* The right tools generate positive ROI. In-store sales increase 10-40 percent on average as a result of increased web to in-store functionality.

* Retailers need to increase focus on digital in-store experiences that support user tasks. Fewer than 22 percent of brands had interactive tools to support user tasks.

The India perspective:

* 75.2% mobile connections penetration

* 8% smartphone penetration

* $0.35 bn online advertising spending

* Top 3 social media platforms by Reach: 1. Facebook – 50 mn; 2. Twitter – 15 mn; 3. LinkedIn – 15mn

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