Sears tops list of best in omnichannel

Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) tops a list of best omnichannel retailers and ranked No. 1 for a number of categories that make up a good omnichannel experience, according to Forrester Research.

Forrester rated companies in the Internet Retailer 500, and evaluated them based on 19 different criteria in four categories: online experience, channel consistency, in-store pickup, and in-store functionality (including some inventory tracking functionality).

The ratings were then weighted by customer importance and were heavily skewed to things like convenience and timeliness, according to Women's Wear Daily.

Here is what gave Sears the edge: in-store pick-up scores were the highest, with Home Depot and Best Buy trailing second and third.

The Home Depot achieved a best-in-class score for inventory visibility, by allowing shoppers 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, according to Forrester.

While some individual scores were high, U.S. retailers have a lot of room for improvement and overall scored the equivalent of a "C."

"U.S. 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," noted the report.

Retailers have stepped up investment in the past year in in-store pickup, fulfillment and inventory transparency, in addition to providing speedier delivery and easy returns across channels. Still, omnichannel capabilities aren't saving Sears from poor financial performance. The retailer recently announced it was exploring options for to better monetize its flagship brands including Kenmore and Craftsman.

For more:
- see this Women's Wear Daily story (tiered subscription)
- see this Forrester report