Bricks and mortar retailers are being urged to use digital technology to engage with their customers even if they don’t sell their products online. New insights from Kantar Retail suggest that the total impact that digital technology has on retail is 100 percent, even though digital sales are less than 10 percent of total retail spend.
Traditional stores can take advantage of the effects that digital is having on shopping experiences by engaging with customers online and across multiple touchpoints in addition to traditional expertise and service levels to drive sales in the store.
Amid all the alarm surrounding “showrooming” – the trend of checking out a product in a store before finding it cheaper online – analysts from Kantar Retail have found that the process is more likely to work in reverse, as customers scan the internet for reviews, information and price comparison and then go to a store for expert advice and to buy the product.
Digital sales only account for around 8 percent of retail sales in the United States and United Kingdom – and are likely to grow to around 10 percent in the next few years – but studies show that 50 percent of purchases are influenced by online, with shoppers researching online before purchasing in-store.
The total “impact” of digital on retail is closer to 100 percent as shoppers’ expectations of shopping experiences are shaped by their time spent online. Smart retailers try to engage with their customers online, even if their online sales account for only a very small proportion of sales, and then use their expertise and superior customer service once the customer is in the store.
According to Kantar Retail, this “10:50:100” framework of digital – 10 percent sales, 50 percent influence, 100 percent impact – is resonating with retailers who had previously discounted the digital effect on their sales.