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BIS COVID Top Retail Rankings

The retail industry has an average Brand Intimacy Quotient of 45.7, well above the cross-industry average of 38.3. Amazon remains in the top position, with Target moving into second place. Costco and Sephora have improved their performance, but Home Depot and Instacart have declined.

Industry Performance

The retail industry ranks third this year, the same as in our 2020 study. The category’s average Quotient Score has fallen slightly. Retail brands perform better with men than with women and with consumers over 35 versus those 35 and under.

Although the industry has faced manufacturing and supply chain challenges related to COVID, Brand Intimacy performance has increased by an average of 8 percent since before the pandemic. Despite the hardships imposed by COVID on people and businesses, this period has actually drawn consumers closer to brands and created stronger emotional relationships.

Archetypes & Stages

Retail has improved its performance in the indulgence and nostalgia archetypes by 6 and 3 percent respectively. Performance across all other archetypes has fallen. All stages remain above the cross-industry average. Sharing has increased by 5 percent since our last study, and bonding and fusing have decreased.

Study Average

Key Findings & Trends

Fulfillment remains the dominant industry archetype. The retail industry has increased its percentage of users in some form of intimacy by 21 percent. Compared to our previous COVID study, more than 39 percent of consumers have an increased positive emotional connection with retail brands. Amazon remains the top brand with women, users over 35, and those with incomes under $100,000; Walmart leads among men, Target among consumers under 35, and Costco among those with high incomes.

Head-to-Head Comparison

Comparing the top two retail brands, Amazon and Target, we see Amazon leads in fulfillment, enhancement, and ritual, and Target outperforms in identity, nostalgia, and indulgence. In terms of stages, Amazon leads in sharing, bonding, and fusing. Compared to Amazon users, more Target users are willing to pay 20 percent more for the brand’s products and services.

Head to Head

* This is a ranked sub-brand. We share its industry performance. Given its similar profile, see parent brand for overall ranking.

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