Navigating the new digital divide | Deloitte US | Retail & Distribution

Analysis

Navigating the new digital divide

Capitalizing on digital influence in retail

For the third year, Deloitte Digital conducted a survey with thousands of consumers to understand how they engage with digital when shopping, and to quantify how these interactions influence their in-store purchase behavior. This year, and over two million data points later, the continuing growth of digital influence is resulting in a widening divide between consumers’ digital expectations and retailers’ ability to deliver on them.

Digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores by the end of 2015, or $2.2 trillion. While the upward trend in overall digital usage has accelerated since Deloitte Digital began tracking and measuring its influence on retail sales in 2012, this year’s study uncovered dramatic new behaviors, including:

  • Digitally-influenced consumers buy more and spend more. Consumers who use digital while they shop in-store convert at a 20 percent higher rate compared to those who do not use digital as part of the shopping process.
  • Not all categories are equal. Shoppers are defining their own journeys, and more often, are doing this at the category or even the product level. With digital influence ranging from 31 percent for the food and beverage category all the way up to 62 percent for electronics, the variation is clear: category by category, shoppers curate different shopping experiences using digital.
  • 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, and are therefore making digitally-influenced decisions much earlier in the shopping process.​

Capitalizing on digital influence in retail

Navigating the new digital divide

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The results are clear: digital influence continues to accelerate and shift the ground under the feet of retailers large and small alike. This survey was commissioned by Deloitte Digital and studied over 3,000 US consumers in late 2014-early 2015. Data were collected and weighted to be representative of the US Census for gender, age, income, and ethnicity.​

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