WILTON, Conn. — Retailers and manufacturers are digitally engaged, but none are “best in class” yet, trading partners reported in a just-released Kantar Retail digital industry benchmarking study.

“The [digital] space is truly up for grabs,” Dan Raynak, a Kantar vice president, told SN.

More than 400 companies in all classes of trade named their top three trading partners on the following digital criteria: strategy, marketing and capabilities. Companies were ranked in three tiers: “performing,” or those that have made significant investments; “progressing,” those that understand the power of ecommerce; and “participating,” those only emerging from a brick-and-mortar approach.


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“I would not rank any retailer as being a clear leader in this space currently,” one unidentified manufacturer said of retailer involvement in digital.

Similarly, a retailer respondent said of manufacturers: “No one is doing a good job of building their brands via digital. They are using digital as just another form of advertising.”

Responses like this demonstrate that a significant opportunity exists for those who want to lead the digital revolution.

“The shopper has gone digital, and the industry must follow,” according to the study.

Trading partners named Walmart, Amazon and Target as being “performing” retailers in digital marketing.

“Walmart is doing a great job of leveraging supplier partners to drive digital promotions in store on new product launches,” one survey respondent said of Walmart’s digital marketing efforts.

“Amazon is not just a great e-retailer, they are the hub of online product reviews, so they make a great platform for education,” said another respondent.

On the manufacturer side, P&G, Unilever and Kraft were among those named “performers.”

“P&G uses insights and focus group information to better understand the key touch points in communication, and has assigned experts to quickly adjust to new platforms in social media,” one retailer said of P&G.

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