Macy's, Victoria's Secret lead digital charts

25 August 2011

NEW YORK: Macy's, Victoria's Secret and Nordstrom are among the speciality retailers making the best use of new media, according to a report.

L2, the think tank, assessed more than 60 retailers, with its analysis covering their dedicated brand websites, digital marketing output, social media presence and range of mobile activities.

Macy's, the department store chain, scored 150 points, as it has a Facebook page that is a real "destination", balances content, customer service and marketing on Twitter, and provides a superior m-commerce experience.

Victoria's Secret, the women's apparel specialist, hit 145 points, having enabled shoppers to complete gift card purchases on Facebook, where it has 14m "likes", and built an iPad app offering premium material.

Nordstrom, which sells a variety of high-end goods, posted 143 points, joining Macy's and Victoria's Secret as a digital "genius" thanks to a "risky" website design, strong mobile site and extremely responsive Twitter feed.

Sephora, the beauty and skincare group, and Urban Outfitters, the apparel chain, made up the top five, both on 136 points, conferring a "gifted" status, enjoyed by 37% of the featured firms.

Another 33%, such as Banana Republic and Cartier, were "average", while 22%, like The Body Shop and French Connection, were "challenged", leaving Club Monaco and Tourneau as the only "feeble" brands.

Overall, the study noted the increasing amount of digital platforms meant it was more difficult for marketers to keep up, shown by the fact the number of "average" performers fell from 70% last year.

"Digital competence and mastery of mobile and social platforms will likely result in a bifurcation in retail between the haves and have-nots," said Professor Scott Galloway, the founder of L2.

In an example of this, 52% of the operators analysed have a presence on Twitter, 48% have introduced "like" options for their products on Facebook, 44% allow user reviews and 31% host live chats.

Gilt Groupe and 7 For All Mankind also now offer full ecommerce functionality on Facebook, where Sephora provides limited purchase choices, but most rivals typically enable gift card redemption at best.

Meanwhile, 67% of brands support a mobile site, 45% have an iPhone app, 39% boast an equivalent tool for the iPad, and just 5% - including Macy's and Gilt - possess applications for Google's Android.

Data sourced from L2; additional content by Warc staff