What is agility? L2’s latest study defines agility in the context of digital platforms as the ability to 1) sufficiently run and scale the IT function on-demand and 2) rapidly respond to changing conditions and opportunities in the marketplace. Once treated as a one-time investment that would reap rewards, it’s becoming obvious that a brand’s digital channels are like living organisms that require same type of ongoing maintenance and investment as stores.
To illustrate that point, the report looks at two once-mavens of digital: Gucci and J.Crew. Both first movers dived into digital by creating in-house platforms, and both went from having highly ranked sites to falling behind their peers. Five years ago, Gucci was providing innovative shoppable content. Now, the site is falling behind Bottega Veneta.
The slip is affecting sales growth:
Likewise J.Crew – once an omnichannel pioneer – was named one of the biggest digital losers in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail due to a 36% year-on-year decrease in digital sophistication. And the brand is experiencing a decline in sales growth.