Research Finds Retailers Have Accelerated Omnichannel During the Pandemic, Yet Struggle to Blend Digital and Physical Operations

NewStore releases the 2021 Omnichannel Leadership Report, an assessment of nearly 200 luxury, premium, and lifestyle brands’ omnichannel competence in the age of COVID-19

The pandemic has sped up omnichannel adoption, but it’s still rare to find a brand or retailer offering seamless experiences across digital and physical

Louis Vuitton, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cuyana and Michael Kors top the list of retailers Thriving

BOSTON, Nov. 10, 2020 – NewStore, the essential omnichannel store solution, today announced the 2021 Omnichannel Leadership Report. The annual research report looks at omnichannel competence at 200 luxury, premium and lifestyle brands.

This year, it focused on changes set forth by the pandemic and how retail brands have responded to COVID-19. The report identifies which brands are utilizing omnichannel features, a reflection of their overall digital efforts and investments. Retailers are scored and placed in one of five categories with respect to their mid-pandemic omnichannel competence: Avoiding, Struggling, Surviving, Evolving, and Thriving.

The pandemic has forced massive change – and while a number of retailers have succumbed to its impact over the past several months, with many others facing severe challenges, others have successfully evolved and even thrived.

2021 Omni Leaders:

    1. Louis Vuitton
    2. Nordstrom
    3. Saks Fifth Avenue
    4. Cuyana
    5. Michael Kors

There have been measurable efforts by retailers to adapt and remediate short term difficulties. Introducing buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) and curbside pickup have addressed immediate consumer demands, but unless integrated into a larger digital strategy, they will not satisfy long term challenges. Most retailers don’t have a solution that truly integrates their web storefront with physical locations. The most critical requirement is that a solution is seamless; it needs to provide the customer choice, convenience, and flexibility. The risks are too high right now for an experience that includes anything less.

“Brands are making digital strategy and technology decisions in months now rather than years. The pandemic has accelerated omnichannel adoption across retail, driven by new safety regulations and dramatic changes in consumer behavior,” said Stephan Schambach, Founder and CEO, NewStore. “In the 2021 Omnichannel Leadership Report, we find that many retailers who had omnichannel in place are thriving. But there are far too many brands struggling to adapt, or avoiding change entirely. The latter won’t survive. Consumer behaviors are not going to go away when restrictions around COVID-19 do.”

The data reveals notable changes over previous years, showcasing the acceleration of innovation by retailers due to the pandemic:

  • 63% of brands have mobile live chat vs. 38% in 2019 and 33% in 2018.
  • 83% of brands offer contactless pay vs. 75% in 2019 and 57% in 2018.
  • 40% of brands offer buy online pickup in store (BOPIS) vs. 25% in 2019.
  • 45% of store associates can contact customers outside the store vs. 25% in 2019 and 13% in 2018.
  • 20% of brands offer online appointment booking vs. 9% in 2019.

For more data and analysis, download the report for free at To find out how your brand scored, contact [email protected] for a custom report.


About NewStore

NewStore is the essential omnichannel store solution for vertically integrated brands. The company delivers Omnichannel-as-a-Service with the first global platform combining POS, order management, clienteling, and inventory. Store operations from endless aisle to mobile checkout to fulfillment are possible with just two remarkably intuitive iPhone apps. NewStore customers include Burton Snowboards, Decathlon, GANNI, Goorin Bros, Outdoor Voices and UNTUCKit. It is backed by General Catalyst, Activant Capital, and Salesforce Ventures. Learn more at

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