Forrester says digital’s impact on both online and physical retail sales will continue to grow, and it has advised retailers to ensure they are adopting a mobile retail strategy and measuring the true influence of their digital assets.
The analyst group has made some interesting revisions to its European Digital Influenced Forecast, with analyst Michelle Beeson using the company’s blog to say that digital and mobile retail will have an even greater impact on consumer purchasing decisions in the coming years.
So what’s changed in Forrester’s view?
Think digital impact, not just digital sales
By 2021, digital is expected to have an impact on more than half – 55% to be exact – of European in-store sales. Whether it’s direct online transactions or in the form of mobile retail and online research, or email, it appears digital will continue to have a major influence on all walks of retail.
Forrester’s message to retailers was for their digital business professionals to measure the true influence of digital assets in order to drive total sales. Consider digital’s wider impact on sales – rather than viewing online sales and store sales separately – is the key advice here.
Mobile retail force
Another prediction from Forrester was that mobile will influence more than 25% of retail sales by 2021, and it suggested that mobile is becoming the dominant digital channel – with mobile retail sales and mobile-influenced retail sales set to more than double between 2016 and 2021.
It’s been said many times before over the last few years, but Forrester urged retailers to invest in mobile to capitalise on its growing prominence in the consumer shopping journey.
Measure the full value
The final advice issued by the analyst group was for retailers’ performance metrics to include digital impact offline, as this will allow organisations to evaluate the full value of digital performance. Some forward-thinking retailers already do this, but there is still much scope for the wider sector to follow this path.
Beeson, who is a Forrester analyst serving e-business & channel strategy professionals, said in her blog: “More than ever, a retailer’s digital presence plays a significant role influencing consumer purchase decisions, both online and in store.
“Digital assets such as images, ratings and reviews, and fit information will continue to heavily influence total European sales through 2021. And this will be far beyond strictly digital conversion, particularly as consumers are actively using their smartphones and digital devices across contexts and in store.”