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Leveraging Digital Influence to Boost In-store Sales

As an Australian retailer, you know that online consumer activity is influencing your in-store sales – but do you really know how, and by how much? Are digital purchases cannibalising your physical store sales? Not necessarily.

Online shopping is growing exponentially on a global scale and eroding in-store sales for many Australian retailers. However, this is not true for all retail business. Smart retailers are actually increasing their in-store sales as a result of digital activities.

In 2015, a staggering 71% of Australian shoppers have engaged with a retail brand online and made their purchase decision before they arrive at the store. Up to 31% of buyers are using digital to make decisions while they are in store, in mobile devices.

People using social media are 26% more likely to buy a product than non-users. Digitally influenced shoppers are also going to the store to experience the products, then purchasing them at home on their digital device.1

Most national store retailers have an e-commerce site, and some are doing well with their online sales, however many are failing to consider the elephant in the room. Digitally-influenced in-store sales are actually much higher than e-commerce sales.1 If your business is focusing on digital functionality disparately to your brick-and-mortar operations, and treating your online sales as a separate metric, you may want to rethink your strategy.

Understanding the influence of consumer digital behaviour goes far beyond tracking online sales. Digital interactions are not independent of in-store sales, they are closely related. In this era of online shopping, brick-and-mortar retail still has an important role.

People still want to visit stores, to see and touch before they buy. While the ABC is closing its shops down in favour of a purely online delivery model, there is quite a significant shift back to physical store shopping for some market segments. Amazon is a good example.

But Australians do not just buy either online or in-store. Digitally engaged customers are likely to be more loyal, and the most frequent in-store visitors. They are the ones using digital before, during and after their store visit.1

So, with digital now being an integral part of the purchase journey, Australian retailers need to get smarter about how they attract and retain customers – both online and in-store. It’s simply not enough to build a great brand and a fabulous range of products, even if you have a mobile-friendly e-commerce site that does all the things it needs to do.

Unless you are an outstanding retail leader, it is highly likely that the shopping experience your business is delivering is falling somewhat short of today’s demanding customers’ expectations.

Want to increase in-store sales? Provide seamless, personalised customer experiences that enable buyers to positively engage with your brand across all your channels. This means your physical store offering needs to be unified with your online offering.

How? You will need to fully integrate your digital channels with your brick-and-mortar channels – with POS, inventory management, logistics and supply chain systems and processes capable of presenting accurate information in real time.

The high returns will reward your investment very quickly, and you will have unlimited opportunities for growth. You can beef up your online offerings and provide customer-expected delivery options. The results will be better than you might think, for instance 52% of Australians say they spend more when buying with Click and Collect.1

Need help with customer-centric business strategies? Want to know more about the latest retail systems and mobility technology to drive integration and efficiencies across your business?

We can show you how. We understand retail – industry trends, supply chain operations, merchandise management, store processes – and your challenges. We have the expertise, the strategies and powerful technology solutions that will help your business grow.

Contact us for a confidential discussion about your business needs.

Sources:

  • 1. Deliotte Digital Report 2015, ‘Navigating the New Digital Divide’, Digital Influence in Australian Retail.
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