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Digitally-influenced sales in retail brick-and-mortar to reach $2.2 trillion

Staff writer ▼ | May 14, 2015
Digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores by the end of 2015, or $2.2 trillion.
Deloitte Digital study   Marketplace volatility in the retail sector
This isa ccording 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 behaviors and retailers' ability to deliver on those consumer expectations continue to diverge.

Marketplace volatility in the retail sector further amplifies the significance of capturing and accurately measuring digitally-influenced sales.

Deloitte Digital's research indicates that, in the last five years, the top 25 established retailers have lost 2 percent of their combined market share, which equates to $64 billion, while smaller players that have entered the market with digital at their core have multiplied.

Mobile influence is up, but price checking is down: Consumers surveyed indicated they are 30 percent 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 percent in 2014, up from 19 percent 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 percent 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 percent) of those surveyed are more likely to make a purchase the same day they turn to social media before or during their shopping trip.

Hispanic and Latino consumers are highly digitally-influenced: Nearly half (49 percent) of Hispanic and Latino consumers use social media during their shopping journey, compared to 32 percent across all ethnic groups.

Additionally, 41 percent of Hispanic and Latino consumers indicate they spend more in the store due to digital activities, compared to 28 percent of all consumers surveyed.

Not all categories are equal: Digital behavior has evolved across all categories, most notably baby/toddler and home furnishings. The digital influence in the baby/toddler category jumped from 39 percent to 52 percent in one year, and now accounts for more than half of all brick-and-mortar sales in that sector.

Additionally, 56 percent of consumers shopping baby/toddler items consult social media for assistance. In the home furnishings category, nearly 4 in 10 consumers (38 percent) indicate they spend more when using their devices in the shopping process.

Consumers are hunters, not gatherers, once they arrive at the store. Nearly 8 in 10 consumers (76 percent) surveyed interact with brands or products before arriving at the store.

Shoppers now make buying decisions at other points in the shopping journey, where they find ideas and inspiration, research product information, validate performance through reviews, and even make purchases online to pick up in store.