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Report: Digital-influenced in-store spending keeps rising


Despite an increase in digitally-influenced retail spending, a gap still remains between retailers and digital shoppers.

Digital interactions influence 56 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores, totaling $2.1 trillion by the end of the year – up from 14 cents of every dollar in 2013, according to Deloitte's new study, “The New Digital Divide: The Future of Digital Influence in Retail.”

Electronics purchases continue to be the most heavily influenced, with seven out of 10 preceded by digital interaction. Still, less considered purchases increasingly fall under digital’s sway. Web influence grew by 49% in grocery and 32% in health and wellness since 2014.

Yet while the impact of digital influence is continually increasing, retailers’ ability to influence the purchase journey is decreasing. The report encourages retailers to join in league with established digital platforms, tear down corporate silos to better respond to customer needs, and assist shoppers whenever possible in directing their own journeys.

"Any retailer who thinks they can build their own personalized experience to interact with customers anywhere near the extent of major digital platform may be disappointed," said the study’s co-author Jeff Simpson, a principal of Deloitte Consulting. "Their limited interaction with customers – about six to eight transactions per year – limits their understanding of the 'moments that matter.”

In other highlights from the report:

• Digital Platforms. Social media sucks up customer attention for several hours each day, limiting retailers’ interaction with customers and their understanding of purchase intent and preferences.

• Millennials. Mobile device usage is no longer heavily skewed toward this younger demographic. More than three-quarters (78%) of non-millennials are now using digital devices either two or three times throughout their shopping trip.

• Consumer-controlled interactions. As more consumers take control over when and how they interact with a brand, retailers’ ability to influence that journey is at an all-time low. For example, the study revealed two-thirds (66%) of consumers now prefer a self-directed shopping journey, up from nearly one-third (30%) in 2014.

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