Globally, omnichannel retail is on the march. Over the last two years, in most countries and categories, retailers have become more mature in enabling consumers to research, compare, purchase, and return products across channels. Yet there is still a wide range of performance. To give retailers a snapshot, we analyzed the omnichannel maturity of 28 countries and nine consumer retail categories and created an index, which uses industry data to rank countries on a scale of 1 to 100 across four dimensions: the degree of digitization for retail sales in a country or category; omnichannel potential; consumer behavior; and technology infrastructure.
This is an update to a similar study we conducted in 2015.
Key findings include the following:
- Overall digitization in the countries in our sample increased 27 percent since the 2015 analysis.
- English-speaking countries again dominate among top-performing countries. The U.S., the U.K., Australia, and Canada all ranked in the top five.
- Despite this notable progress in digitization worldwide, some countries, such as Germany, remained flat.
- Media products, consumer electronics and appliances, and traditional toys and games are the most mature omnichannel categories.
- China, which ranked fourth, remains the largest e-commerce market in the world, with high mobile adoption rates and extremely demanding consumers.
- The degree of digitization for retail sales channels has the biggest impact on a country’s overall maturity level. This is partly within companies’ control: By shifting sales to digital channels, they can foster greater demand among customers.
In addition, this report offers case studies of individual countries and categories. Above all, our aim is to give retail executives a detailed picture of the state of omnichannel execution and a quantifiable means of ranking progress across markets so they can adjust their approaches to individual markets accordingly.