Europeans spend €5 in-store for every €1 spent online after researching products via digital touchpoints. Digital activities influence a significant proportion of physical store sales. Yet, many eBusiness professionals tend to evaluate their digital efforts in terms of online sales generated and struggle to measure the value of a website and digital activities in terms of the overall influence on the shopper journey.

The key for eBusiness professionals is to recognize the influence that digital has on purchase decisions across the customer lifecycle and keep consumers within their own ecosystem, no matter where the final transaction takes place (in the physical store, on their website or via their mobile app).

But how can you quantify the influence of your digital presence on physical store sales?

For several years we have published the cross channel retail sales forecasts in the US and for the first time Forrester has developed a European version focused on seven European markets: UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Spain and Sweden. The forecast projects the growth of cross channel sales – sales that are influenced by the digital touchpoints but where the purchase is completed in a physical store.

A few key takeaways from a European perspective include:

  • Cross-Channel (Web-Influenced) Sales Will Account For 44% Of Overall EU Retail Sales By 2018. Cross-channel sales, in store sales influenced by online research, are currently five times larger than online sales, increasing slightly by 2018. Thus, despite double-digit growth of online sales in Europe, cross-channel sales will account for a greater proportion of total retail sales, reinforcing the need for excellence in cross-channel retail.
  • Use Digital Presence Across The Customer Life Cycle To Drive Overall Sales. Consumers are adopting new connective technology to serve their life needs and increasingly expect that the information or services they need will be available and accessible through their mobile devices at their moment of need (Forrester calls this the Mobile mind shift). Thus, retailers must evaluate and understand the role digital plays throughout the customer life cycle, particularly as it aids and encourages discovery and consideration.
  • Use Cross-Touchpoint Measurement To Prove The Influence Of Digital On Offline Sales. There is a bigger opportunity if digital is evaluated as part of an end-to-end customer journey to drive overall sales. New techniques are advancing cross-touchpoint measurement, which will help demonstrate digital’s influence on offline sales and help justify more investment.

The growth of these cross-channel retail sales emphasizes the importance an organization’s digital presence has on driving overall sales, not just those where the final transaction is completed online.