50% of purchases to be “digitally influenced” say Deloitte.
Business consultancy and financial advisory company Deloitte has said that £9bn of Christmas purchases in the UK will be influence by the internet, suggesting that “connected consumers” will spend more at Christmas.
The company has revealed that 50% of all general merchandise purchases will be digitally influenced and 20% will be multichannel, while price comparison sites, peer reviews and social networks have become integral part of the multichannel shopping journey.
Deloitte has predicted zero growth in Christmas retail sales overall this year, but says this would still mean around £9bn of non-food sales are digitally influenced.
Ian Geddes, UK head of retail at Deloitte, said: “The importance of online to UK retailers is no secret, but our research demonstrates the impact the internet plays in the whole shopping journey.
“Before the explosion of the digital marketplace, consumers engaged with businesses primarily through single channels and had limited access to information or opinions about the product or service. Now, they are benefiting from higher levels of pre-transaction research and evaluation.”
Geddes says that the size of the digital and multichannel opportunity is far greater in non-food where consumers are more likely to make considered purchases.
Deloitte’s latest multichannel research, published earlier this month in the firm’s Consumer Review shows that 51% of multichannel shoppers use social networks as part of their research before purchasing, 32% use review forums whilst 13% refer to blogs. 74% of multichannel consumers use price comparison websites, whilst 31% use voucher code sites.
Colin Jeffrey, head of multichannel retail at Deloitte said: “Consumers have embraced digital media and are increasingly confident about interacting and transacting online.
“With trust in traditional sources of influence decreasing, they are turning to their peers or communities online for advice and to share information and opinions. Furthermore, the current economic climate is accelerating the rate at which consumers are adopting digital behaviours as they rebalance their spending and turn to digital solutions to seek out savings and value.”
Whilst the value of the average transaction across stores, online and multichannel is slightly lower compared to this time last year, multichannel consumers are still spending the most, with store only customers spending the least per transaction.
On average, multichannel consumers spent £143 per transaction compared with direct shoppers who spent slightly less (£102) and store only customers who spent £57.
Geddes concluded: “Whilst retail stores remain the biggest single channel by volume and value, they now form just one part of a shopping experience made of numerous channels. The digital revolution has created a new path to purchase for consumers. Suppliers and retailers are being increasingly challenged to serve them along a more complex decision-making process.”