Capitalising on Digital Influence in Retail

09 February, 2016 by Colin Jeffrey | OmnichannelRetailSocial

The results are clear: digital influence continues to accelerate and shift the ground under the feet of retailers. Many retailers dramatically underestimate the influence of digital on in-store sales. Furthermore, they are caught in the digital divide of making investments in digital that primarily support their e-commerce business rather than their brick-and-mortar business.

Deloitte has been tracking and measuring digital influence on retail sales since 2012 and this year’s study has uncovered some new consumer behaviours.

The true value of digital in-store

·         Digital technology is expected to influence £170 billion of UK retail sales by the end of 2015

·         In 2014, 28% of in-store sales were influenced by digital, compared to 12% in 2012

Digitally influenced consumers buy more and spend more

·         Shoppers are 33% more likely to make a purchase the same day when they use social media to help them shop before or during their shopping trip

·         28% of consumers who spent more as a result of using digital, did so by buying a complimentary product

Not all retail categories are equal

·         Electronics purchases are the most influenced by digital - 52% of sales

·         Food and beverage is the least influenced category - 21% of sales

Digital replaces human contact, even in-store

·         45% of shoppers would use their own device to look up the price of an item, compared to 14% who would ask a sales assistant

·         37% of shoppers check out and pay with their own device, compared to 22% who would use the till in-store

Consumers are hunters, not gatherers once they arrive in-store

·         77% of consumers are leading their own shopping journey through digital and….

·         …..47% of consumers read product reviews online during their path to in-store purchase


We have passed the tipping point in retail — the point where digital channels should no longer be considered a separate or distinct business. Instead, digital is fundamental to the entire business and the entire shopping experience, in and out of the store. As this new reality begins to have a greater impact, retailers should change the way they think, measure, and invest in digital, and address their customers’ digital needs and wants.

In a world where everyone is always online, there is no offline. So it is not about digital business, it’s just business.

To learn more about digital influence, visit here, or get in touch with Colin.