The 2015 Global Omnichannel Retail Index

The future of shopping has arrived

Executive summary

Retailers around the world are starting to transform their relationships with their customers by offering an omnichannel shopping experience. With the omnichannel approach, consumers can make their purchases via their choice of sales settings: They can channel-hop among online and physical stores, smartphones, tablets, social media, call centers, and email, for example. This gives consumers more ways to shop and interact with a retailer, more information about products or categories of products that interest them, and greater product availability. Ideally, retailers are rewarded with more lucrative relationships with their customers and a deeper understanding of customer behavior and preferences — along with the chance to target product recommendations and discount or promotional campaigns directly at individual consumer needs.

To evaluate the ways that omnichannel shopping is beginning to redraw the retail landscape, Strategy& conducted an analysis of omnichannel’s market penetration and potential in 19 countries or regions. With the data we obtained from industry sources, we constructed the Global Omnichannel Retail Index, which assesses omnichannel readiness in nine retail segments within each of the 19 countries or regions. The index sets a rating for each country on a scale of 1 to 100 based on four metrics: consumer behavior, degree of digitization, omnichannel potential, and infrastructure. Some of the index’s conclusions are unexpected; for example, China is number one in both the omnichannel grocery segment and the omnichannel apparel and footwear segment. Other results are more intuitive: It is no great surprise that the top three omnichannel countries — the U.S., the U.K., and Australia — are e-commerce powerhouses. However, we believe that all of the index’s findings will be extremely useful to retailers in determining future strategic approaches, regardless of whether their omnichannel participation status can be described as leading the pack, falling behind, not yet ready, or about to dive in.

Appendix: The Global Omnichannel Retail Index Methodology

The Global Omnichannel Retail Index was developed as a means of measuring omnichannel retailing maturity, presence, and success in 19 countries and regions as well as in nine retail segments. The index is based on an assessment of four separate metrics:

  • Consumer behavior: the degree to which customers in the specific countries already fulfill their retail purchases via an omnichannel approach, e.g., Web-to-store or store-to-Web. Data points are available per country and retail segment. The original values are scaled to 0–100 and weighted at 40 percent of the overall index. (Data source: PwC Total Retail Study)
  • Degree of digitization: the level of sales channel digitization. Values describe the combined share of Internet and mobile purchases in the specific country and retail segment. Values are scaled to 0–100 and weighted at 20 percent of the overall index. (Data source: Euromonitor)
  • Omnichannel potential: the growth potential of Internet and mobile retailing. Values describe the average predicted CAGR for both Internet and mobile sales penetration between the years 2012 and 2016. The values are scaled to 0–100 and weighted at 20 percent of the overall index. (Data source: Euromonitor)
  • Infrastructure: The penetration of omnichannel devices and services in the specific country. This metric consists of four submetrics: broadband penetration as a percentage of households, plus mobile, smartphone, and tablet penetrations as percentages of population. The degree of digitization is derived as the average of these four submetrics, scaled to 0–100, and weighted as 20 percent of the overall index. (Data source: PwC Global Media and Entertainment Outlook)

The analysis was conducted throughout 2015 and is based on 2014 data. The index assessed the following nine retail segments: consumer electronics and appliances, apparel and footwear (including sports equipment/outdoor), media products, housewares and home furnishings, personal accessories and eyewear, do-it-yourself and home improvement, grocery, traditional toys and games, and beauty and personal care (including consumer healthcare).

The analysis examined the following 19 countries or regions for omnichannel activity: United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Canada, China, Belgium, Japan, Middle East, France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Switzerland, Chile, Turkey, India, South Africa, and Brazil (ordered by ranking). Country scores are derived as non-weighted averages across all retail segments.

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Benedikt Schmaus

Benedikt Schmaus

Partner, Strategy& Germany