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Report: Digital dictates the majority of in-store purchases


Traditional retailers who think the digital tide can be turned back are deluding themselves, according to the consulting firm’s fourth annual “New Digital Divide” report. With Facebook and Google playing host to hours of commercial interactions with consumers on a daily basis, the classic retail brand’s ability to guide the path to purchase is waning.

"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.”

A survey of more than 5,000 consumers found two-thirds of them preferring self-directed shopping journeys, up from just 30% just two years ago. 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.

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.

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