BEAUTY CARE

Deloitte: Retailers are missing the mark on ‘digital influence’

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK — Digital interactions are expected to influence 64 cents of every dollar spent in retail stores by the end of 2015, or $2.2 trillion, according to Deloitte Digital's latest study, "Navigating the New Digital Divide." This figure has grown considerably from 14 cents of each dollar spent in brick-and-mortar stores in 2012, the first year Deloitte Digital conducted the annual study.
 
Deloitte Digital defines "digital influence" as the percentage of traditional brick-and-mortar retail sales impacted by shoppers' use of digital devices. Deloitte Digital has also identified a growing digital divide where consumers' digital behaviors and retailers' ability to deliver on those consumer expectations continue to diverge.  
 
"Retailers often use the wrong metric – e-commerce sales – to indicate whether their digital strategy is working," said Kasey Lobaugh, principal, Deloitte Consulting and Deloitte Digital's chief retail innovation officer. "Last year, e-commerce sales represented $300 billion, or just 7% of total retail sales, while digitally-influenced store sales were over five times higher, topping $1.7 trillion. Retailers that prioritize and design digital functionality with the sole purpose of driving sales in the e-commerce channel marginalize the consumer experience and risk ceding authority to competitors."
 
Marketplace volatility in the retail sector further amplifies the significance of capturing and accurately measuring digitally-influenced sales. Deloitte Digital's research indicates that, in the last five years, the top 25 established retailers have lost 2% of their combined market share, which equates to $64 billion, while smaller players that have entered the market with digital at their core have multiplied. Lobaugh added, "We are seeing a real change in the competitive dynamics, with digital as the great equalizer. The findings indicate that the large retailers are collectively losing ground to the much smaller competitors."
 
While the upward trend in overall digital usage has accelerated, this year's study uncovered dramatic new behaviors. Among consumers who use digital devices to shop:
 
  • Mobile influence is up, but price checking is down: Consumers surveyed indicated they are 30% less likely to use smartphones to perform price comparisons in-store than they were a year ago. This decline occurred while the influence of smartphones alone on in-store sales rose to 28% in 2014, up from 19% the prior year. Consumers are advancing in their sophistication – using mobile more often for inspiration and idea generation earlier in their shopping process, and not simply as a price comparison vehicle;
  • Digitally-influenced consumers buy more and spend more: Consumers who use digital while they shop convert at a 20% higher rate compared to those who do not use such devices. Consumers that access social media during the shopping process are four times more likely to spend more, and almost one-third (29%) of those surveyed are more likely to make a purchase the same day they turn to social media before or during their shopping trip;
  • Hispanic and Latino consumers are highly digitally-influenced: Nearly half (49%) of Hispanic and Latino consumers use social media during their shopping journey, compared to 32% across all ethnic groups. Additionally, 41% of Hispanic and Latino consumers indicate they spend more in the store due to digital activities, compared to 28% of all consumers surveyed; and
  • Not all categories are equal: Digital behavior has evolved across all categories, most notably baby/toddler and home furnishings. The digital influence in the baby/toddler category jumped from 39% to 52% in one year, and now accounts for more than half of all brick-and-mortar sales in that sector. Additionally, 56% of consumers shopping baby/toddler items consult social media for assistance. In the home furnishings category, nearly 4 in 10 consumers (38%) indicate they spend more when using their devices in the shopping process.  
 
Consumers are hunters, not gatherers, once they arrive at the store. Nearly 8 in 10 consumers (76%) surveyed interact with brands or products before arriving at the store. Shoppers now make buying decisions at other points in the shopping journey, where they find ideas and inspiration, research product information, validate performance through reviews and even make purchases online to pick up in store.
 
"Instead of measuring moments that matter during the shopping journey, retailers continue to focus on measuring the buy button – the point at which they actually have the least influence," said Jeff Simpson, director, Deloitte Consulting and co-author of the study. "Retailers that simply track channel sales and fail to measure the influence of digital along the entire path to purchase can miss key indicators of performance and customer behavior. Retailers should focus on designing and building customer experiences that play to how their customers are shopping for their products – rather than direct consumers to the point of purchase if what they really seek is inspiration or information."
 
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Dove Hair expands ‘Love Your Curls’ campaign with launch of new book

BY Antoinette Alexander

 

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. — As a follow up to the launch of Dove Hair’s "Love Your Curls" campaign and film launch, the Unilever brand has now unveiled the new Love Your Curls book, a tribute to curly hair, inspired by thousands of stories, photos and messages that poured in as a result of the campaign.

"We were moved by how many women embraced our Love Your Curls mission and shared their stories, photos and anecdotes, in celebration of curls," said Rob Candelino, VP of Unilever hair care. "At Dove, we have a long history of empowering women and girls through our self-esteem project and the Love Your Curls book is very much a part of that commitment. We hope women continue embracing the movement by downloading, dedicating and sharing this book with young girls in their lives. We hope our efforts will inspire self-confidence in generations of curly girls to come."

Dove Hair's Love Your Curls book, written by best-selling author, Taiye Selasi and illustrated by award-winning illustrator, Annick Poirier, is inspired by the stories and photos of real women and is intended to represent and inspire curly girls of all ages. Available to download as a free digital e-book, Love Your Curls is also customizable. Each download at Dove.com/loveyourcurls allows visitors to create a self-written dedication, a personalized poem and watercolor portrait for a curly girl in their life. The non-customizable version will also be available for download at Amazon.com, iTunes.com and Play.Google.com.

Dove Hair has also created a run of special-edition hard cover copies of the Love Your Curls book that will be made available to select partner organizations, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America. In addition, educators are encouraged to apply for a free hard cover copy at Dove.com/loveyourcurls.
 

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Survey: Consumers prone to ‘discover’ products online but would rather buy in-store

BY Michael Johnsen

BOSTON — According to a TimeTrade survey released Monday, 85% of consumers prefer shopping in a physical store vs. online, including 70% of consumers who would prefer to shop a brick & mortar Amazon store versus Amazon.com. And in-store expertise drives purchase volume: As many as 90% of consumers are more likely to buy when helped by a knowledgeable associate. 
 
And it's not just old-school baby-boomer shoppers who are spurning online for that in-store shopping experience, the survey found, because 92% of responding millennials plan to shop in-store in 2015 as often or more than they did in 2014.
 
The survey data suggests that shopping trends are favoring the brick-and-mortar model, despite perceptions that the rise of e-tailers would jeopardize the physical retail store, TimeTrade reported. “The bottom line is customers value the personal experience of the physical store,” said Gary Ambrosino, CEO of TimeTrade. “We found that shoppers have done their shopping or discovery online, then go into the store to get help with their final purchase decision.”
 
Given this information, TimeTrade recommends that retailers employ a cross-channel strategy that converts an initial inquiry into a high value, in-store experience. Once in the store, retailers must give customers prompt service with a knowledgeable store associate.
 
"With exponential adoption rates of mobile devices, harnessing the opportunity across the customer journey will be the ultimate game changer,” said Sheryl Kingstone, director at 451 Research. "Retailers need to bridge digital interactions with brick and mortar interactions with new innovative technologies along business process changes.”
 
“We see retail convergence – the coming together of digital and physical retailing – as a game changing trend,” Ambrosino said. “Traditional e-tailers are opening brick-and-mortar locations because they understand very well the highly personal service they can offer in a store and traditional brick-and-mortar retailers are creating more personal, digital-savvy experiences in the store to better serve today’s shopper.”
 
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