A new retail marketing report from Forrester found that sales from US consumers that check the web before making in-store purchases are four times greater than online sales alone. This may come as a shock for many retailers who previously frowned on mobile use in store, or the “showrooming” trend that has become a new norm for today’s web influenced shoppers. Omnichannel mobile strategies are actually helping, not hurting, in-store sales across the US.
Cross-channel retail sales—defined by Forrester as transactions that are touched by a digital medium but not completed online—are slated to hit $1.4 trillion this year and $1.8 trillion by 2018. Offline sales, primarily influenced by the web, will comprise nearly 75% of the $475 billion in US retail growth anticipated between 2014 and 2018. This is due to the rising number of consumers who use their phones at home and in-store to research products before purchase.
Many believed that mobile shopping would hurt in-store sales, but this five-year study proves otherwise. As it turns out, most consumers use their phones in the “pre-shop” phase and not to complete purchases. This is because shoppers are more interested in researching the product location, comparing prices, and checking inventory before making a trip to a brick and mortar location to complete their purchase in person.
This is good news for retailers who have yet to embrace an omnichannel marketing strategy. By creating employee and consumer-facing apps that help shoppers, retailers can take advantage of this trend that is quickly becoming the new norm for today’s mobile consumer.
Read more about the study and it’s findings here.