Macy’s, Nordstrom Score “Genius” Rankings On Third Annual L2 Digital IQ Index®: Specialty Retail

The top two spots in the 2012 Digital IQ Index ®: Specialty Retail were decisively captured by Macy’s and Nordstrom, respectively. The study, authored by Scott Galloway, NYU Professor of Marketing, and a team of researchers at L2 Think Tank, benchmarks the digital competence of 76 global retail brands. This year’s study includes data and expertise from L2 partners SapientNitro and STELLAService.

Download an excerpt from the report:

Top Ten Digital IQ’s:
1. Macy's 6. JCPenney
2. Nordstrom 7. Bloomingdale's
3. Victoria's Secret 8. Crate & Barrel
4. Sephora 9. Gap
5. American Eagle Outfitters 10. Saks Fifth Avenue

"Mobile and Amazon are reshaping retail. M-commerce is the fastest growing channel in the history of commerce. A retailer’s ability to prosper will be inextricably linked to their agility on the platform. In addition, Amazon has turned its sights on specialty retailers, offering high-end brands and an experience that closes the gap with bricks and mortar. We believe the ranking offers insight into the firms that will over and under perform relative to peers." —Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing, NYU Stern, and Founder, L2

"The rise of the smart phone and mobility compound the challenges for retailers both in and out of stores. Digital experiences today need to do more than offer consumers the ability to transact. The best ones provide an experience -- one that connects the consumer’s digital and physical worlds -- and offers relevance to their lifestyle.” —Bill Kanarick, CMO, SapientNitro

Study Highlights:
  • In Q2 2012, online retail spending reached $44.3 billion, up 17 percent YoY. E-commerce is expected to grow at a 13.3 percent CAGR, versus flat growth for bricks and mortar.
  • For the first time, there is a significant relationship between the size of a retailer’s business and their Digital IQ. The relationship strengthens when looking at the size of a retailer’s online business.
  • The Digital IQ of e-tailers fell below the average for the whole category. The top two spots in the 2012 Digital IQ Index®: Specialty Retail were decisively captured by Macy’s and Nordstrom, respectively.
  •, boasting a peerless e-commerce experience and a 37 percent share of U.S. M-commerce, is THE force reshaping retail. As Amazon is reinvesting cheap capital in a supply chain to offer same day delivery, eroding one of the few remaining advantages of terrestrial retail.
  • M-commerce is now the fastest growing commerce channel in history and the mobile device is influencing more on- and off- line purchases than TV, Print, and often the in-store salesperson. Everyone, including Facebook, has been caught flat-footed by the extraordinary rise of mobile. E-commerce is now M-commerce.

Watch the video highlighting Key Findings:

About our Methodology

Each brand was scored against more than 675 data points across four dimensions: Site, Digital Marketing, Social Media, and Mobile. In this year’s report, to account for the e-commerce opportunity we modified our methodology; allocating greater weight to a brand’s site and decreasing that of social media. In addition, for the first time, in partnership with STELLAService we measured the order and return fundamentals on retailers’ e-commerce site.

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