Omni-channel performance of major Russian retailers through the eyes of the buyer: an overview

The leading IT integrator AWG and analytics company Data Insight joined forces to conduct their first study of the omni-channel performance of Russia's largest retail chains with the ambition to look at the shopping process from the customer's perspective.

Why we did this rating

Online sales account for a growing share of the retail business nationwide. Depending on the segment, it may vary from 5% to as much as a third of overall sales. This year's market average is already approaching 10%. At the same time, the pandemic triggered the growth of the digital channel.

We wanted to look at how the average consumer perceives these changes and what steps the key players are taking to improve their perception. The reason is we know that, from the customer's point of view, there is no online and offline channel. There is a shopping space where they interact with the seller in different ways.

The rating reflects the retailers' strengths and weaknesses at the intersection of online and offline sales.

The higher the company ranks, the closer it is to the nominal "ideal store" where all processes involved with any purchase are omni-channel and that offers consumers the perfect experience.

Long-term planning can be tricky, but we are planning to conduct this study regularly. Firstly, because the "ideal store" is not an exemplary model cast in iron, but a dynamic business that constantly evolves. Secondly, retail chains make for one of the most interesting objects of study.

How we rated the participants

  1. We listed over a hundred retail companies with the highest total sales on the Russian market and assessed and ranked the top 100.
  2. To gain insight into the customer experience, we used the mystery shopping method to place orders, communicate with the offline store staff and call centers. Comprehensiveness of the rating criteria eliminated dependencies between the store grades and its line of business and other subjective parameters.
  3. Technology interaction experience metrics were collected using the proprietary know-how of our team, third-party tools and information in the open sources.
  4. To assess the order receipt experience, we used public information provided by the participants, which was verified during the test order placement by mystery buyers.
Learn more about the ranking method

Rating results

M-Video is the leader of the overall rating. This store scored high in customer experience and interaction with technology, which, together with its robust financial indicator, landed it on the first line.

At the same time, top 10 companies in the overall rating included three players in electronics and household appliances and home and DIY, which is due to an earlier adoption of the omni-channel approach by many retailers in these categories.

Sportmaster topped the customer experience rating, while Detsky Mir ranked highest in consumer interaction with technology and Perekrestok beat its rivals by excellent order receipt experience.

Interestingly, this rating was marked by an absence of clear-cut winners. A highly developed and integrated loyalty program sometimes goes along with poor order delivery performance, while an impressive web site score can be offset by lower assessment of customer support. Each leader is still quite far from being the "ideal store", i.e. a retail outlet where the customer enjoys a completely seamless shopping experience, both online and offline.

Somewhat inconsistent customer experience grades, namely those of seamless purchasing experience and a single loyalty program, emphasize the evolvement of an integrated offline and online customer interaction process.

Order receipt experience is another area that showed certain discrepancies, but those are often due to the fact that potential buyers have various expectations of the sellers of different product categories rather than the retailers' customer service deficiencies. In terms of delivery time and delivery time slot selection, food companies demonstrated the best results. The sellers of electronics and home appliances, on the other hand, were rated significantly lower by this parameter, though it is obviously of less importance in their case.

The creators of the rating view it as an indicator of the Russian retail transformation towards the omni-channel model and are planning to publish it annually.

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