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CI&T Releases Report Highlighting Top Connected Retailers During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Nordstrom & Target top the rankings for their connected retail ecosystems

CI&T, a leader in driving digital transformation for global brands, announced the availability of its new Connected Retail Report. This study uses survey data and an in depth assessment to rank leading retailers on their blended shopping experiences to determine who the most connected retailers are and will continue to be in a post-pandemic world.

“The retail industry has experienced a paradigm shift in the past year as everyone responded to the pandemic and subsequent restrictions and economic challenges,” said Young Pham, Chief Strategy Officer at CI&T. “We wanted this report to capture a picture of what the major players in this industry are doing and offer insight into the way forward.”

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The report begins with a consumer survey of 530 U.S. shoppers focusing on their purchasing habits and retailer expectations over the past year. The insights from that survey informed an extensive assessment of 10 leading retailers across seven pieces of criteria for a total score of 74 points: overall experience, search, shop, cart, buy, fulfillment and returns.

CI&T’s Connected Retail assessment scored industry heavyweights Nordstrom, Target and Home Depot highest while other retailers like PetSmart, Bass Pro Shops and REI excelled in specific areas, but still have room for improvement when it comes to their connected retail ecosystem.

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  • CI&T’s Connected Retailer Ranking:
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  1. Nordstrom
  2. Target
  3. Home Depot
  4. Staples
  5. Walmart
  6. Foot Locker
  7. Gap
  8. PetSmart
  9. Bass Pro Shops
  10. REI
  • Nordstrom and Target were the only retailers to receive perfect scores in four categories
    • Nordstrom: Search, buy, fulfillment, returns
    • Target: Search, cart, buy, returns
  • Other perfect scorers include:
    • Home Depot & Bass Pro Shops: Shop
    •  Walmart: Fulfillment

“Prior to the pandemic, consumers struggled to understand the value in merging online and offline retail channels,” said Melissa Minkow, Retail Industry Lead at CI&T. “With the vast majority of shoppers reporting their engagement in hybrid purchase behaviors over the last three months, it’s become clear that the retailers with the most connected retail experiences won 2020 and are the most future-ready.”

According to the report, the highest scoring retailers all have histories of innovation and raised the bar even higher in 2020 as stores of all sizes and platforms have been challenged to meet the need for convenience, reliability, decision support and speed in a very different landscape than the ones in which consumers are familiar.

“With Nordstrom, Target and Home Depot topping the list as the most advanced connected retailers, it’s clear that the past year created a retail inflection point – propelling industry-golden children even further ahead,” adds Minkow. “If the brands on the lower scoring end of the list don’t upgrade their connected retail ecosystems, they’ll risk falling severely behind.”

Additional report highlights include:

  • An analysis of pandemic-related consumer purchase behaviors and expectations.
  • Extensive evaluations of the connected shopping experiences of major retail brands.
  • Recommendations for retailers to improve their shopping customer experience to meet – and exceed – customer expectations going forward.

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