We interviewed Rich Siefert, Sr. Consultant, OSF Digital and Kathy Kimple,  Executive Director, Digital Strategy.

OSF Digital, an award-winning provider of digital transformation services to companies worldwide, announced the release of its 2023 Omnichannel Retail Index (Index) Executive Summary Report.

The Executive Summary Report outlines key findings on the state of omnichannel and digital best practices, offering insights on investment trends and customer demands. The 8th annual study found that retailers and brands are increasing adoption rates of certain omnichannel and digital capabilities, such as loyalty programs. Despite the increased adoption of some best practices, others have declined. Overall, companies in the Index have implemented an average of 60% of best practices—a slight decrease from the previous year’s 61%.

The highest-ranking company in the Index implemented 80% of the Index’s designated best practices, a decrease from 2022 when the highest score was 85%. With different challenges and priorities across verticals and businesses, the gap between the highest scorer of best adoption practices and the lowest scorer (31%) significantly widened according to this year’s Index analysis.

Some of the key findings from this year’s study include:

  • Loyalty programs are widely adopted, with 77% (up from 70% in 2022) of benchmarked retailers reporting having one. Some brands maximize their offerings with tiered (42%) or paid (19%) loyalty programs to build long-term relationships. Leveraging these and offering rewards or discounts for certain actions as a retention strategy became a top priority for many companies. 
  • As retailers and brands increase their focus on the customer experience, they’re adding more features to make it easier for online shoppers to find what they’re looking for faster. Search functionality showed high adoption among retailers in the Index. A whopping 95% of retailers use auto-suggest search terms and 88% offer suggestions for empty search results—up from 73% in 2022. A nascent site search tactic growing in popularity is pre-populating autosuggest with top searches or trending items—adopted by 43% in 2023.
  • More brands also feature guided online selling tools, growing to 40% this year from last year’s 26%. But a missed opportunity here is the capability to save your quiz or guide results in your account section for later access, as only 30% of brands have adopted this feature. 
  • The Index continues to see a decline in curbside pickup, with only 49% of brands offering curbside pickup, compared to 73% in 2021. This drop is not surprising given the fast adoption of curbside pickup during the pandemic when it became a must-have feature overnight. Buy Online Pickup in Store (BOPIS) also continues to fall slowly, with 82% of benchmarked companies offering it, versus 86% at its peak in 2021, despite BOPIS being a customer favorite.

Launched in 2015, the Omnichannel Retail Index is widely recognized as the industry’s most comprehensive omnichannel and digital best practice benchmark study. The Index takes the pulse of digital commerce and omnichannel retail practices, examining how 120 leading U.S. retailers and brands perform against 200+ criteria across web, mobile, and in-store capabilities. The Index shows how these companies deliver on the omnichannel promise through detailed and extensive mystery shopping conducted by OSF’s Digital Strategy consultants.

To view the report, please visit Website: www.omnichannelretailindex.com. Feel free to compare with last year’s findings: https://www.e-channelnews.com/julian-lee-discusses-with-osf-digital-on-its-2022-omnichannel-retail-index/