Retail Advertising Is Dead, Reviews Video + Information Marketing Is Having A Major Influence Says Deloitte.
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A new Australian research study by Deloitte Digital reveals that digital interactions influenced 40% of in-store retail visits and more than 65% of customers use a digital device to search for information before shopping.

31% actually used a digital device such as a smartphone to search and compare information while actually shopping in a store. 

By being able to find and compare products on a portable device retailers have witnessed a boost in sales conversions by 25%.

72% of shoppers acknowledged they are already aware of the product they want to purchase when they get to the store based on their own research and NOT brand/retailer advertising Deloitte said. 

Only 28% are still influenced by brand retailer advertisements or communications from retailers.

When it comes to validating their purchase, consumers trust neutral sources of information over retail advertisements. Reviews and advertorials are their preferred source of information. 

The use of digital devices has also increased shoppers’ order sizes by 21% on average claims Deloitte.

Another key influence for consumers is video with consumers more likely to open a video and watch it than read a text and image EDM.
In terms of digitally-influenced retail sales, Australia comes in third (40%) behind the US (49%) and Canada (41%), but ahead of Germany (30%), The Netherlands (30%) and the UK (27%).

Deloitte defines ‘digital influence’ as the percentage of traditional bricks-and-mortar retail visits affected by shoppers’ use of digital devices before or during the shopping trip. Should Australia follow the same trend as the US – where such behaviour has multiplied four times over the last three years – we can expect digital to influence a majority of retail in-store visits in Australia within the next few years.

Deloitte has also identified a growing digital divide where consumers’ digital behaviours and retailers’ ability to deliver on those consumer expectations continue to diverge.

“In our Retail Review Christmas Survey, we found just a third of Australian retailers citing omni-channel as their number one strategic priority. The findings from this digital divide report should be a wake-up call for the retail sector which is at risk of underestimating local consumer appetite for digital engagement,” says David White, Deloitte partner and retail industry leader.

 “Global brands have educated Australian consumers to expect internationally competitive pricing, an endless aisle and greater shopping convenience. Digital will soon be the deciding success factor in retail.”

“Historically, local retail sales have not gone online in Australia as quickly as in other markets,” explains Katherine Milesi, Deloitte Digital partner. “That is fast changing. Digital is becoming an integral part of every element of the in-store shopping experience. Australian retailers need to understand how to harness its influence to increase conversion rates and order sizes. When consumers use digital devices to research, find and compare products – before, during and after shopping in-store – it boosts both average conversion rates by 25% and order sizes by 21%.”

Digital firmly embedded across the shopping journey

Two-thirds of customers use a digital device before their shopping trip and nearly a third (31%) use it while shopping. Additionally, 47% will use their device to compare products, 42% to access product information and 33% to check product availability.

“Online shopping used to be considered as distinct to bricks-and-mortar stores. Digital and traditional shopping channels are blending and complementing each other along the end-to-end customer journey. It will be critical to the future of the store – not the cause of its demise,” says White.

To adapt to this new reality, Australian retailers may need to:

Reimagine the customer experience – to offer a relevant and personalised experience throughout the customer journey through a deep understanding of customer preferences and shopping behaviours
Reset pricing strategy – to allow greater speed and flexibility in setting and changing prices to attract customers and maintain margins.

Rethink the supply chain – to expand ranges without the associated cost, improve delivery convenience to customers and create cost efficiencies in the value chain.

Redefine the role of the store – to blend the physical and digital experience more seamlessly and reconsider the purpose of the store in the shopping journey or experience.

Reinvent the in-store employee experience – to bridge the current digital gap in the in-store experience.

72% of shoppers acknowledged they are already aware of the product they want to purchase when they get to the store based on their own research and NOT brand/retailer advertising Deloitte said.