Joining the ADBL's senior learning and development panel at the Digital Skills Transformation Event, in the video of her talk Sarah Mellor discusses the digital conundrums faced by retailers.
As John Lewis' talent manager, Sarah considers the balance that the retailer needed to find between its customer service centric brand and the requirement to be a leading digital retailer.
Sarah highlights two challenges that John Lewis faced in finding this balance: bringing the brand's well-received customer service at physical stores into the digital realm, and improving the physical store experience with the organisations digital capabilities.
"What do you do if your brand is based on great customer service, but you also need to be a leading digital retailer?
"It's a really tricky balance, and it's not easy to get that right all of the time across all channels.
Translating store success to digital, and vice versa
"For example, if you're used to giving fantastic customer service in a shop, how do you give that via a website? If the computer says no when you're checking out your online basket, you can't just pop around the corner to the nice man on the till and get him to check-out your goods, then get them home again.
But while John Lewis highlighted a need for the customer service levels found in their shops to translate into their digital presence, a similar necessity for their digital presence to translate into their shops was required too.
"Our customers expect great technology in our shops. We need technology to help them pay quicker, to help them pick up click and collect delivery, and find a recipe to use that random piece of bok choy that was on offer and now is in your basket but you don't really know what to do with it."