Just over half (51%) of all in-store grocery sales in 2016 were influenced by digital technologies, tipping the scale with an 18% point increase over the prior year, according to a report [pdf] from Deloitte. As such, digital’s influence isn’t limited to pure e-commerce, which nonetheless accounts for 80% of grocery sales growth.
US consumers have rapidly been adopting the use of digital technology throughout the retail world. Indeed, another Deloitte study shows that digital’s influence on in-store sales has quadrupled from 2013 to 2016.
Though the electronics retail category still feels the greatest influence from digital (69%), the grocery category now is close behind other major retail categories in digital influence, including apparel (56%) and home (58%).
Digital’s Greatest Impact
Digital can have a strong impact across many parts of the consumer experience, from awareness to the final purchase.
Not too surprisingly given that most grocery purchases are made in-store, digital’s influence is most evident in the early stages.
Some 77% of consumers surveyed as part of Deloitte’s report used digital touchpoints to drive awareness through social media sites (such as YouTube and Pinterest), cooking blogs, and recipe websites.
Moreover, 4 in 5 consumers have turned to a digital device to browse or research grocery products through weekly circulars, grocery retailer website, etc.
Digital Use Boosts Sales
Furthermore, use of digital has a positive effect on sales: increasing grocery spending 19% of the time, and converting digital users 9% more frequently than non-digital users. Embracing digital even makes it easy for shoppers to change their minds: nearly one-third (29%) of respondents have reconsidered products based on online recommendations or reviews.
About the Data: Deloitte’s report was based primarily on two surveys conducted in November 2016: Deloitte grocery digital divide survey and Deloitte grocery experience survey. Each surveyed more than 2,000 random consumers.