Digital Encourages Basket-Building: Report

Digital adoption is growing in retail, and that’s good news for retailers on the basket-building front: According to new research from New York-based firm WSL Strategic Retail, a quarter of shoppers who use digital devices add more products to their purchases.

The report, “The Shoppers’ Guide to Restructure Retail,” notes specifically that one-third of click-and-collect and digital coupon users said they buy more, while 39 percent of subscription service users said the same. Click-and-collect, digital coupons and subscription services are just two of the eight super-digital shopping tools that the report gauged in terms of shopper usage. While these tools make shopping easier, less stressful and faster, they also are restructuring shopper expectations.

“Retail and brand marketing have been forever disrupted by digital tools that have reshaped shopping trips. That’s no surprise to many,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL Strategic Retail. “However, what is surprising is that they are also the foundation of how to restructure and improve retail because they solve fundamental issues that retailers have struggled with for decades.“

The report goes on to note, however, that fewer than 20 percent of shoppers use such tools as click-and-collect (15 percent) and subscription services (12 percent). Fortunately, these services show the greatest potential for growth: Almost all digital shopping tools, with the exception of personalized offers, generated satisfaction ratings of nearly 80 percent or higher.

While many retailers are growing sales through digital channels, the research suggests that they also have the opportunity to “restructure sales” in physical stores as well, if they take advantage of these digital tools to influence behavior and generate loyalty among shoppers.

WSL identified six essential truths that retailers and manufacturers need to consider:

  • Digital is not about disruption – it is about enabling and satisfying shoppers.
  • Sales recovery opportunities are plentiful using digital tools. For example, 40 percent of click- and-collect shoppers said that they also go into the store to shop – often on the same trip.
  • While a digital service appears to work for only some product categories for now, it has the potential to pull other categories along with it as shoppers’ expectations change.
  • Digital tools are reshaping the traditional trip framework. They've changed shoppers’ view of what it means to stock up, fill in and make quick trips.
  • Personalization needs to be better personalized. Most shoppers don't feel offers are truly for them.
  • Nothing goes away. Sure, digital is the future, but lots of shoppers still prefer paper circulars and walking the aisles.
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