The top department stores in digital also rate highly in brand equity, according to the latest Harris Poll survey. Consumers considered Macy’s the top department store, while Nordstrom was the number-one luxury retailer.

The results closely parallel L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores ranking, in which Macy’s places first and Nordstrom second – suggesting that the brands’ heavy investments in digital are correlated with their success. Macy’s has made continued investments in omnichannel, while Nordstrom retooled its app to emphasize m-commerce features.

However, Kohls took the title of best online department store, making clear that retailers can no longer rely on their established brand equity to drive sales. As digital becomes increasingly important, site investments will determine the new leaders in the sector. Nearly a fifth of department stores keep their e-commerce platforms separate from their brand sites, and less than half of sites support responsive design – a critical flaw as consumers shift towards mobile browsing.

Department Store investments

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