$1 trillion in retail store sales thanks to digital

Digital interactions influence 36 cents of every dollar spent in the retail store, or approximately $1.1 trillion, according to the latest study from Deloitte Digital. The study also found that by the end of 2014, that number will climb to 50%, or $1.5 trillion of total store sales.

The study, "The New Digital Divide," quantifies the extent to which consumers' use of desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones influences brick-and-mortar store sales.

"Mobile and online transactions represent only a sliver of total retail revenue potential," said Kasey Lobaugh, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP and Deloitte Digital's chief retail innovation officer. "Retailers that narrowly focus on digital commerce — rather than the full journey that leads to a purchase — often fail to recognize how their customers shop and make decisions in the store. The result is a digital divide between what consumers do and what retailers deliver. This gap not only threatens overall revenue, but also requires retailers to reset the way they measure and invest in digital efforts."

Deloitte Digital's data indicates that mobile-influenced sales in the store have reached $593 billion. Deloitte Digital also found that consumers using a device during their shopping journey make a purchase at a rate 40% higher than those who do not use a device. It also found a dramatic impact on traffic, spending and loyalty from digital shoppers: 84% of store visitors use their devices before or during a shopping trip; 22% of consumers spend more as a result of using digital; 75% of respondents said product information found on social channels influenced their shopping behavior and enhanced loyalty.

"Each interaction is an opportunity for a retailer to enhance the customer experience and tell its brand story," said Jeff Simpson, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-author of the study. "However, retailers often measure success solely on how many widgets they sell through their web or mobile sites. For example, retailers might regard online shopping cart abandonment as a failed conversion when in reality, it may represent a customer who started their wish list in the online basket, but chose to purchase the items in the store. In that case, digital engagement may have led to a sale in the physical store. This impact is much higher when measured holistically across the organization and regardless of channels, rather than force-fitted to a single point of purchase."

The survey was commissioned by Deloitte Digital and conducted online by an independent research company between Nov. 15 and Nov. 22, 2013. The survey polled a national sample of 2,006 random consumers. Data was collected to be representative of the U.S. Census for gender, age, income and ethnicity. The national random sample and samples of smartphone owners and device owners have a margin of error of plus or minus 2-3 percentage points; the sample of tablet owners has a margin of error of plus or minus 3-4 percentage points.