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The New Digital Divide

Retailers, shoppers, and the digital influence factor

Digital devices’ influence on in-store purchase behavior is growing much faster than anyone could have anticipated. Deloitte’s research shows that today digital technologies influence 36 percent or $1.1 trillion of in-store retail sales, and this number will likely increase to 50 percent of in-store sales by the end of 2014.

Given this acceleration, we are at a tipping point in retail — a point where digital channels should no longer be considered a separate or distinct business. Instead, digital is fundamental to the entire business and the entire shopping experience, in and out of the store. As this new reality begins to have a greater impact, retailers should change dramatically the way they think, measure, and invest in digital, and address their customers’ digital needs and wants.

Key findings

  • The digital impact on in-store shopping and purchase is greater and growing faster than previous projections indicated.
  • From the customer’s point of view, e-Commerce and bricks-and-mortar businesses are no longer discrete. This attitude challenges the most basic organization structure and business model of many retailers.
  • Many executives in your company may be working on disparate pieces of the digital guest experience. The dots — from digital to customer experience, to merchandising, to vendor decisions and others — should be connected by an integrated retail strategy.
  • Customer expectations in terms of digital’s role in the bricks-and-mortar shopping journey are being (re)defined by retailers outside of your direct competitive set.
  • Retailers are often failing to properly measure the impact of digital on various measures of success: traffic, conversion, order size, and loyalty. Viewed holistically, these metrics can be powerful leading indicators of customer preference and purchase intent.

Explore these and other findings by downloading the study.

As used in this document, 'Deloitte' means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.


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