Deloitte held a session at last weeks NRF BIG Show called ‘The Digital Divide’. Regardless of the title, their message was not really about digital, it was rather a lesson in humanity.

Their warning was that too often digital is looked at as a separate part of the business – the case in point is the focus on ‘e-commerce’ performance (ROI, abandonment) over a consideration of ‘digital’s’ impact on the total business sales.

Their research had shown that 36c to every dollar spent in retail was influenced by digital, and that mobile influences 19% of in-store sales (up from 5% in 2012). These two statistics are attempting to look at digital from a ‘customer perspective’.

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That’s the real issue – currently we look at digital from an internal or organisational perspective and can’t see the whole customer journey. The result – when a ‘cart is abandoned’ online we can’t see if that sale then went in store. After all, customers shop online with no intention (the same as they do in stores).

Here are their tips on starting to take a more ‘human’ approach to digital:
1. More than Seamless: make the customer experience more than seamless, that means understanding context in which a channel is being used. ie. often mobile is used in store, because people prefer it to talking to a sales associate.

2. Consistency: the customer doesn’t differentiate between channels, it’s just one brand. Keep it consistent – tone of voice, brand feel, one proposition etc. These channels might be run by different people internally but the customer doesn’t want to know that.

3. Better functionality: It’s never about more functionality, it’s about what will make it better for the customer. When inundated with options always go back to the customer and what will make their lives easier.

4. Influence not Conversion: Conversion is an important metric when looking at digital, but it’s not the only metric. If you single handedly focus on it you’ll never understand the total customer journey.

Their final piece of advice (which sums it up): ‘ Whilst it’s important to measure the ROI on digital investments you can’t measure each incremental return’.

Author Pippa Kulmar

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