While retail conversations tend to emphasize the growing role of online, it’s easy to forget that most activity still takes place in traditional brick-and-mortar locations. According to a new report from Deloitte, more than $4 trillion of total retail sales (or 93.5 percent) happen inside a store, and not online.
The report, Navigating the New Digital Divide, focuses on the role digital plays on the number of retail sales in physical stores. Meanwhile, the report uncovered unique retail implications as a result of the growing prominence of mobile technology in a consumer’s daily life.
Key findings include:
- Digital influenced $1.7 trillion of in-store sales last year, compared to just $0.33 trillion only a couple of years ago.
- Mobile influence on in-store sales swelled to nearly $1.0 trillion from just $0.16 trillion in 2012.
- The digital influence factor ranges from 31 percent for the food and beverage category all the way up to 62 percent for electronics, illustrating a category-by-category difference.
- Almost 80 percent (and trending up over the past few years) of shoppers interact with brands or products through digital before arriving at the physical store.
- 34 percent of shoppers surveyed use digital while in the store
Additionally, there were a few key discoveries regarding the effect of social media, including its ability to drive conversion and increase basket size. Ultimately, this illustrates the importance of leveraging social media, not only to support a retailer’s e-commerce platform, but as a tool to educate consumers, while building trust and conveying authenticity.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for retailers, it is clear that while a digital divide exists, it presents an opportunity for retailers to bridge the gap and ultimately marry a modern consumer with an equally modern in-store experience.