According to a new study conducted by Deloitte Digital called the New Digital Divide, the growing use of computers and mobile devices among consumers is having a significant impact on their in-store purchases. While 90 percent of retail sales in the United States still take place in brick-and-mortar retail stores, the digital world continues to have a growing influence on consumer choices and trends. In fact, according to the Deloitte study, online interactions with companies and their brands influence 36 cents of every dollar that’s currently spent in retail stores, and by the end of 2014, this number is expected to reach 50 percent (or 50 cents of every dollar).

The upshot of the Deloitte study indicates that digital channels have become a fundamental part of the entire business and shopping experience, both in and out of the store, which is going to dramatically affect retailer marketing trends in the long run.

Here are some of the key findings of the study.

  • The impact of digital activities on in-store shopping and purchase decisions is greater and growing faster than previous projections have indicated.
  • An average of 69 percent of shoppers uses digital devices prior to, 36 percent during, and 14 percent following a shopping outing.
  • Consumers using digital devices to assist them in their purchase are 40 percent more likely to actually buy something than those who don’t. In addition, digital interaction is shown to affect store traffic, customer spending, and loyalty.
  • A significant 84 percent of in-store shoppers use their computers or mobile devices either before or while visiting a brick-and-mortar store.
  • Of those surveyed, 22 percent of respondents say that they spend more as a result of digital interactions (an average of 25 percent more than they planned to).
  • Of respondents, 75 percent say that the product information they are exposed to on social media affects their shopping behaviors and increases their loyalty to a particular brand.
  • From the consumer’s perspective, e-commerce and brick-and-mortar stores are no longer separate; rather, most see it as a singular business model.


Deloitte. The New Digital Divide: Retailers, Shoppers, and the Digital Influence Factor. 5/30/14.

Lesonsky, Rieva. “How Digital Influences Your Retail Store’s Sales.” Small Business Trends. 5/28/14.