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Major Retailers Still Missing Key Part of 'Omnichannel' Dominance

Image via Getty
Image via Getty

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Think tank L2 released a report on how brands are doing on the omnichannel concept, aka the future of shopping that combines online and in-store shopping into one seamless experience. A major component of that is in-store pick-up, in which customers can see real-time, in-store inventory when shopping online, make a purchase, and then pick up their item in a nearby store.

But the the omnichannel revolution is happening slowly. Of the 71 brands L2 tracked in their 2013 and 3014 Omnichannel Retail studies, only six launched in-store inventory visibility across their online channel, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Ann Taylor, Kiehl's, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue. So far, luxury retailers are sitting on the sidelines.

Gucci was the only brand in L2's luxury category to launch in-store inventory visibility since L2's 2013 study. Target, Lowe's, and other Big Box stores who've faced the most competition from Amazon are leading the omnichannel charge, as our department stores—Barneys and Bergdorf Goodman were the only holdouts of the department stores L2 studied.

And the accuracy of in-store inventory systems is another barrier for retailers. L2 reports that 51 percent of those surveyed estimate that between 2 and 10 percent of their pick-up in-store orders cannot be fulfilled due to inaccurate store inventory. That's a big problem, since L2 reports that 41 percent of consumers expect to be able to pick up their purchase in under an hour.
· Omnichannel Retail 2014 [L2]
· Gap Knows What In-Store Shopping is Missing: The Internet [Racked]