Customer Experience Bites #1: Digital v. Physical

(Bite-sized information or inspiration, that I have time to write, and you have time to read)

In its latest bid to reinvigorate its sluggish performance, UK department store Debenhams is investing in “a new kind of app”.

Whilst it’s no doubt laudable to make its online experience faster and better, with studies  (and sales data) consistently showing that physical stores are overwhelmingly preferred by shoppers, I’d advise Debenhams and its ilk to build its 21st Century brand from its physical store base – then translate that experience to digital.

The data: Debenhams’ profits fell by 44% this year. Experiential department store Selfridges announced record sales and profits up by 18% for the same period.

No matter how powerful technology becomes, people are people and as such the integration of technology into life-enhancing, physical brand experiences must be the priority for business.

That’s why I believe that 80% of motorists will prefer to drive their own cars in 20 years’ time – no matter what governments or Silicon Valley say!


Customer Experience isn’t simply the quality or arrangement of assets. It’s their orchestration. I help organisations orchestrate their assets so that everyone plays to their full potential. Read my ebook Managing Customer Experience in the Networked Age, or contact me to find out more.

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