Does mobile technology and easy access to digital affect sales in-store as well as online? Does it affect in-store consumer behaviour? You see, it is possible that in-store and online are two non-overlapping circles. If so, there could be cases where you would be entirely entitled to forget about the online or the in-store, depending on your business configuration. If, on the other hand these two are tightly woven together, it would the height of folly to ignore one in favour of the other. Recently, Deloitte Digital published a report that comes strongly in favour of the second.
Digital purchases vs. digitally influenced purchases
The key insight of the Deloitte Digital team was to analyze not only the online retails sales - in 2014 they amounted to an arguably miserly 6.5 % of all retail sales – but on the remaining 93.5 percent that flow through the brick-and-mortar stores. Did the digital world influence it and to what degree? Suddenly, the data show a very different picture and the impact of the digital is no miserly any more.
Even when arriving from brick-and-mortar, 64% of what spent in retail is going to be digitally influenced. This means that digital engagement is far more important than digital purchases alone. Focusing only on purchase decidedly misses the true impact of what digital can mean and its potential to drive sales.
Online information as a shopping background
Consumers seek to interact constantly with brands or products. 76 % of the surveyed consumers sought information that helps them buy long before stepping into the brick-and-mortar store. Thus a business should seriously rethink their strategy of digitally influencing decisions much earlier in the shopping process. Furthermore, even while in shop at least a third of all shoppers are using digital while in the store.
Note, however, that most consumers are trusting more sources of information that outside the direct control of the retailer: 70 % of shoppers say they no longer turn to retailer or brand advertisements for inspiration.
Reputation management and social media
Retailer have to learn and implement strategies designed to impress independent bloggers, friends and family, or even strangers because these are emerging as the most trusted channels. Impress these intermediaries and you succeed; the implication being that social networks and social media is not the cherry on the top that you may or may not put on your cake. The report forcibly drives this point home: social media users are 4x more likely to spend more than non-users on purchases.
All of the above does not actually bring anything new; a lot of actors playing on the big scene of the digital scene already implemented working methodologies on how to leverage digital influence. at ke Solutions we do understand how customers navigate their path to purchase and the websites we create, the content we put out there on your behalf and the apps we design - are all working towards smoothing this path.