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Data released in May 2015 by Deloitte highlights the continuously growing influence of digital and mobile devices on in-store retail sales. Last year, the use of mobile devices before or during in-store shopping trips influenced or helped to convert approximately $970 billion in sales, representing 28% of the total. Digital devices as a whole—including desktops and laptops, netbooks, tablets, smartphones, wearables and in-store tech such as kiosks or mobile payment devices—saw their dollar impact on in-store sales jump to $1.700 trillion last year, or just under half of the total.
Deloitte estimated that this year, digital would influence 64% of in-store retail sales and reaffirmed the widespread notion that the influence of digital and mobile on the brick-and-mortar shopping process meant retailers had to link all channels. “Our projection for the future of retail is that the concept of online is dead. Because when everyone is online all the time, when digital is pervasive—there is no offline,” said the study.
Other research points to high consumer usage of mobile once in-store. In a March 2015 study by DigitasLBi, 85% of smartphone owners worldwide said they used a smartphone while shopping in a brick-and-mortar—up from 72% in 2014. Among smartphone and tablet owners in the US, 52% polled by BrandSpark in partnership with Better Homes and Gardens reported using their devices in-store.
One way for retailers to take advantage of in-store mobile usage to drive sales is to serve shoppers personalized, relevant offers based on tracking. Q4 2014 research by King Retail Solutions (KRS) found that the majority (52%) of US internet users were fine with or all for in-store mobile phone tracking. And November 2014 research by Accenture found that receiving real-time promotions was the No. 1 way US digital buyers would like to use their mobile phones while shopping in-store.
However, retailers are struggling to leverage location tools to track customers. In a March 2015 study by Econsultancy in association with ResponseTap, just 8% of agency professionals and 5% of client-side marketers worldwide said they used in-store geotargeting technology such as beacons to map customers who were engaging both digitally and offline.
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