Digital Engagement Drives Up In-Store Sales
Increasingly, brick and mortar shoppers are using a “strategic strike” method of shopping: They’ve narrowed down what they came for, they pick it up and they leave. Consumers use digital technology first, as part of the selection process, then visit a store for an in-person look and feel, and then, they often make ancillary
purchases that are unplanned, as well. A shopper, therefore, who uses commerce or mobile sites to facilitate the shopping experience is actually more apt to be a higher value — and potentially more loyal — customer than one who does not.
A recent study from Deloitte, “Navigating the New Digital Divide,” found that digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores by the end of 2015, or $2.2 trillion. What used to be the dreaded practice of “showrooming” may actually be driving shoppers into stores. That theory seems to be backed up by Deloitte’s finding that consumers who use digital while they shop in-store convert at a 20 percent higher rate compared with those who do not report digital influence as part of the shopping process.
Deloitte reports that consumers are “hunting,” rather than “gathering.” That’s due to the ability of shoppers to narrow down selections before heading into the store. With time at a premium for so many people, doing a “pre-shopping” online helps optimize in-store time. When the “hunter” has a specific target to pick up at the store, there is more time to spend finding related accessories.
For example, narrowing down a selection of coffee pots to one or two on a retailer’s site before heading to the store provides the shopper the opportunity to simply collect the merchandise (the “strategic strike”), or to browse related items, such as mugs, beans, filters and so on. The consumer has the choice of a quick, easy, time saving experience, or of a streamlined one that offers a targeted pick up with an incidental additional purchase.
Nearly one in three shoppers Deloitte surveyed said they buy more when they use digital as part of their shopping process. Tying selling channels together — converging them — helps customers use digital technology for their initial shopping decisions early in the process, and then makes it easy for them to extend that sale.