Europe's eBusiness professionals are increasingly focused on their digital presence, and with good reason. Digital touchpoints are feeding into almost every stage of the customer life-cycle. For many retailers over half of all online traffic comes from mobile devices, like smartphones – yet, smartphone conversion rates are considerably lower. Initially this may appear as a cause for concern. But Forrester’s updated European Cross-Channel Retail Sales Forecast sheds a different light on this phenomenon by quantifying the influence of digital touchpoints, including mobile, on overall sales, both online and offline.

eBusiness leaders must consider their digital assets as part of the whole customer-lifecycle, rather than simply channel by channel. Digital touchpoints have a significant influence beyond online sales. In fact, by 2020, Forrester forecasts that digital will influence 53% of total retail sales in EU-7, or €947 billion, including a combination of online sales and offline sales influenced by online research.

Key takeaways from the updated cross-channel retail sales forecast published today include:

  • Recognize and use your digital touchpoints’ value and influence offline. For every €1 consumers spend online, they will spend €4 in physical stores based on the influence of digital touchpoints. By 2020, five key categories will have more than half of total sales coming from cross-channel sales – offline sales that are influenced by digital research: Garden & home improvement, beauty & cosmetics, jewelry & watches, footwear and clothing.
  • Use digital presence across the customer life-cycle to drive overall sales. Consumers are adopting new connected technology to serve their life needs, and they will continue to do so as they shop over the coming years. Thus, retailers must evaluate and understand the role digital plays throughout the customer life-cycle, particularly as it aids and encourages discovery and consideration.

To understand the impact that a cross-touchpoint customer journey and an organization’s digital presence have on driving overall sales see our European Cross-Channel Retail Sales Forecast, 2015 To 2020 report.