Retailigence | What is The Digital Shelf and Why Should Retailers Care?
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What is The Digital Shelf and Why Should Retailers Care?

23 Jan What is The Digital Shelf and Why Should Retailers Care?

Pre-shopping is the new consumer reality. Who doesn’t do research, compare prices and even put items in a shopping cart – without pushing the ‘buy’ button – these days?

For retailers, pre-shopping can torpedo sales, especially if you’re in a physical location. Selling against ecommerce giants who pack, ship and bill on the same day is increasingly challenging. Consumers can do more than showroom – they can choose another retail location, or stay at home and shop in their pajamas. So is local in-store shopping on the way out?

Well, no. In store shopping is still important, but it is more heavily influenced by mobile use.

Check out this list of statistics: Four out of five consumers use smartphones to shop (comScore); 64% of respondents to a Mobile Advertising Survey say they have made a mobile purchase after seeing a mobile ad; according to Point Inside, retailer apps with store information create 5x more engagement.

So how do retailers turn pre-shopping into an advantage, instead of a risk?

Dr. Phil Hendrix has an idea and it’s called The Digital Shelf. The Digital Shelf solves one of the challenges brick and mortar stores face today: tying store inventory to shopper intent and Internet search patterns.

Dr. Hendrix, who heads immr Research and is a GigaOm research analyst, recently worked with us on a whitepaper describing the new phenomenon of the Digital Shelf. We are really excited about this new way of looking at the retail landscape, which encompasses online, offline and local shopping trends.

A few teasers from the paper:

– The Digital Shelf consists of third-party websites and mobile apps through which consumers can view and shop for products sold and fulfilled by retailers.
– Over the last two to three years, the number of third-party shopping apps and websites has exploded, driven by consumer interest and demand as well as plummeting cost for developers.
– Third-party apps have become an important extension – aka the Digital Shelf – for retailers and the brands they represent. Industry experts believe the Digital Shelf accounts for as much as 5 to 15% of many retailers’ sales. This percentage is expected to grow significantly.

For more insights into how retailers can best take advantage of the Digital Shelf to reach online shoppers, we encourage you to download and read the full paper, “The Digital Shelf” New ideas for new realities – it’s what retailers and brands need to maintain market share and defend against online ecommerce giants.

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