Top 10 Department Stores Investing In Retail Technology


Department Store brands continue to invest incrementally in digital platforms. However, competition has intensified: the four Genius brands in L2’s Digital IQ Index®: Department Stores boast an average Digital IQ of 147 this year, compared to last year’s average of 141. As Amazon presents a growing threat to their long-held dominance in multiple sectors, brands will need sophisticated digital strategies to survive.

1. Nordstrom

Digital IQ: 152
Nordstrom advances to the top spot this year thanks to a revamped mobile app that boasts robust in-store functionality. Additionally, the app includes image search and the “N Style” section, which features content such as shoppable branded blogs and videos. Nordstrom also generates high engagement on Instagram, despite below-average post frequency.

2. Macy’s

Digital IQ: 151
Genius brand Macy’s improved on its already-stellar iOS app by adding in-store messaging, along with a redesigned landing page convincing users to opt into that capability as well as location services and push notifications.
The brand generates the highest site traffic in the Index by leveraging events like “Fashion’s Front Row,” featuring live performances from brand ambassadors and influencers, in addition to features like the MyStylist section, which allows shoppers to book appointments with personal stylists.

3. Kohl’s

Digital IQ: 143

Kohl’s earns high marks for incorporating best-in-class omnichannel features onto product pages. For example, the Find-in-Store tool boasts dynamic mapping and filter options. Meanwhile, Facebook content is supported by substantial investments that pay off in engagement, and the brand loyalty program boosts consumer interest with UGC.

4. JCPenney

Digital IQ: 140
The JCPenney mobile app is frequently updated and offers seamless checkout, in-store functionality, and support for Apple Pay, and the brand’s mobile site features high-quality branded blog content alongside personalised recommendations and geolocation. SEM efforts also boost search visibility on non-branded terms.

5. Asos

Digital IQ: 131
Asos once again scores a spot in the Gifted category thanks to its SEO and SEM efforts, which pay dividends in non-branded search visibility across geographies. The brand also continues to dominate on Instagram, generating 18 times as much engagement as the average Department Store.

6. Bloomingdale’s

Digital IQ: 130
Like some of its rivals, Bloomingdale’s revamped its mobile site this year, adding geolocation, dynamic maps with directions to the nearest store, and mobile-optimized live chat. The brand has also focused on integrating online and offline elements with a series of omnichannel investments.

7. Marks & Spencer

Digital IQ: 130
By linking compelling video content to product pages, Marks & Spencer displays best practices not evident throughout the Index. Meanwhile, the brand’s massive investment in SEM boosts lacklustre organic visibility on non-branded terms.

8. Neiman Marcus

Digital IQ: 130
Neiman Marcus delivers reliable results on Instagram, a platform that has become nearly ubiquitous among Index brands. The brand also integrates savvy features like the Memory Mirror into its app, alongside a visual search tool and Tinder-like gifting functionality.

9. Saks Fifth Avenue


Digital IQ: 129 
In February Saks launched an innovative partnership with retail software provider SalesFloor, creating a customer service tool that allows consumers to chat remotely with sales associates. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the service also lets customers shop a selection of curated products. Email and social media tools built into the Saks mobile app allow the brand to integrate these services across channels seamlessly.

10. Sears

Digital IQ: 128 
The brand boasts a series of strong omnichannel efforts including “Meet With an Expert,” a tool encouraging store visits. Sears also invests heavily in both desktop and mobile advertising.
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