I have always pondered when discussing mobile digital strategies with developers and vendors why the obsession with reducing the whole experience to a device. Yes any mobile access to a service or product should provide full functional access yet trying to squeeze the physical experience and amenity into an app as well is like trying to convince a cat to bark. Cute but inferior would be the cat’s response!
Yet it doesn’t have to be all or nothing, particularly between physical and online stores. In fact I suggest the best use of digital during a cultural transition, such as online shopping offers, is to help build bridges. Customers want the experience of physical but with the convenience of online. How do we provide for that? Simple just remember that mobile has legs.
What if the design, instead of trying to recreate your store, brings them to your store by helping find stock, your location, parking, transport, support and so on? Or helps them leave your store better equipped and better informed by downloading and personalising your app? Or leads them to your partners or access, drop off and pick up points that increase convenience? You see mobile by definition has legs, wheels and wings plus a general desire to include the intangibles of physical experience and human contact in the purchase. It does not just have to mean reducing the experience to a hand-held screen.
If you want to discuss your digical strategy just let me know. We can also discuss cats.
* See the latest HBR for a great article on how to get the mashup between digital and physical right. They use the CBA’s investment in bridge building digital functionality as their case example. While other banks were building glorious but limited websites and closing ‘dumb’ branches CBA built functional bridges between the two that allows an either/or approach without any loss of amenity.