Top-Performing Retailers Not So Sure Future Growth Will Be All Digitally-Driven

May 14, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

Retail & E-Commerce

RSRResearch-Retailers-Visions-of-the-Future-May2013Consumers continue to spend more and more online, as evidenced by the latest figures from comScore showing that Q1 represented the 14th consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth in retail e-commerce spending. In general, retailers feel that future retail growth will come primarily from digital channels, not stores, with 40% agreeing with that sentiment, versus 29% disagreeing, per results from a new RSR Research survey [download page]. However, top-performing retailers aren’t as convinced: just 6% “strongly agree” that digital will be the primary driver of future growth, compared to 11% of respondents on average.

These top-performers, dubbed “Winners” by the researchers, boast comparable store/channel sales growth of more than 5%. The study defines those at the 5% growth rate as “average,” and those below it as “laggards.”

The results show that the worse the retailers’ results, the more likely they are to see future growth as coming from digital channels. While just 6% of “winners” strongly felt that to be the case, that figure rose to 11% among “average” retailers and 18% among “laggards.” In some ways, that’s not too surprising a result: retailers that are beating industry averages are likely to show more confidence in their physical locations.

Rather than succumb to digital, “winners” believe they can leverage in-store technology to level the playing field. 49% of “winners” strongly agreed that in-store technology helps stores compete with the online experience, making them twice as likely as “laggards” to strongly agree with that statement. And 38% of “winners” strongly agreed that their store results will continue to erode unless they find a way to incorporate technology as part of the store experience, versus just 6% of “laggards.”

About the Data: The data is derived from a survey conducted by RSR online from March-April 2013, which received answers from 131 qualified retail respondents. 40% of respondents come from retailers with at least $1 billion in 2011 revenue, and about half are headquartered in the US. 38% qualified as “winners,” 46% as “average,” and the remaining 16% as “laggards.”

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