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21.07.2015 Rise and rise of the digital influence

Digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores by the end of 2015, according to Deloitte Digital's latest study, 'Navigating the New Digital Divide'.

This figure has grown considerably from 14 cents of each dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores in 2012, the first year Deloitte Digital conducted the annual study.

Deloitte Digital defines "digital influence" as the percentage of traditional brick-and-mortar retail sales impacted by shoppers' use of digital devices.

Deloitte Digital has also identified a growing digital divide where consumers' digital behaviours and retailers' ability to deliver on those consumer expectations continue to diverge.  

"Retailers often use the wrong metric – e-commerce sales – to indicate whether their digital strategy is working," Kasey Lobaugh, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Digital's chief retail innovation officer, said.

"Last year, e-commerce sales represented US$300 billion, or just seven per cent, of total retail sales, while digitally-influenced store sales were over five times higher, topping US$1.7 trillion.

Retailers that prioritise and design digital functionality with the sole purpose of driving sales in the e-commerce channel marginalise the consumer experience and risk ceding authority to competitors," he said.

Deloitte Digital's research revealed that in the last five years, the top 25 established retailers in the US have lost two per cent of their combined market share, which equates to US$64 billion, while smaller players that have entered the market with digital at their core have multiplied.

While the upward trend in overall digital usage has accelerated, this year's study uncovered dramatic new behaviours.

Among consumers who use digital devices to shop:

  • Mobile influence is up, but price checking is down
    Consumers surveyed indicated they are 30 per cent less likely to use smartphones to perform price comparisons in-store than they were a year ago. This decline occurred while the influence of smartphones alone on in-store sales rose to 28 per cent in 2014, up from 19 per cent the prior year.  Consumers are advancing in their sophistication – using mobile more often for inspiration and idea generation earlier in their shopping process, and not simply as a price comparison vehicle.  
  • Digitally-influenced consumers buy more and spend more
    Consumers who use digital while they shop convert at a 20 per cent higher rate compared to those who do not use such devices. Consumers that access social media during the shopping process are four times more likely to spend more, and almost one-third (29 per cent) of those surveyed are more likely to make a purchase the same day they turn to social media before or during their shopping trip.

Source: Stationery News

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