Skip to main content

Target Wins Consumers Through Shopability and Selection, While Walmart Falters, New Study Finds

With the rise of online shopping and digitally native brands, retailers must capitalize on the elements of the in-store experience that keep consumers coming back.

According to omnichannel retail analytics firm Wiser Solutions, there are four key metrics that drive a successful shopping experience: people, products, “shopability” and sentiment. They translate roughly to customer service, quality products and variety, ease of shopping and emotional connection (based on familiarity and trust).

According to the report, a retailer’s ability to push the consumer’s needs and wants into selections and purchases depends on its ability to deliver on those four core criteria. The firm used consumer data from 1,000 respondents to inform its ranking of 15 major big box retailers like Target, Best Buy, Costco, Walmart and more based on their success in these areas.

Target ranked No. 1, winning with product, shoppability and sentiment. One-stop shoppers expressed appreciation for the store’s product quality and selection. The retailer fell short when it came to “people,” or customer service. Respondents reported that they were least likely to be greeted upon entry at Dollar Tree, Sears and Target, while Best Buy and Costco ranked high when it came to greeting customers.

Best Buy took the second place spot in Wiser Solutions’ ranking, making an impression with its associates readiness to offer assistance. Nearly 75 percent of respondents reported being offered help by an associate within three minutes of entering the store. (Meanwhile, at Dollar Tree and Walmart, 70 percent of customers reported that they were not approached by sales associates.) Best Buy also scored high based on its product selection and availability.

Meijer grocery stores ranked third overall based on product variety, making it a haven for one-stop shoppers as well. Lowe’s, Costco and Home Depot followed behind in fourth, fifth and sixth places, respectively. Walmart ranked ninth due to lackluster customer service and checkout experiences, though the store’s selection scored high with consumers. Sears placed 15th in the ranking, failing to impress in all four categories.

“We’re in a new age of retail where every aspect of the shopping experience is scrutinized by consumers. However, this is driving the industry to innovate and improve at a rapid pace,” said Andy Ballard, chief executive officer of Wiser Solutions.

The firm gleaned its data for the study from Wiser’s consumer mobile app, Mobee, which crowd-sources real-time shopper insights.