Technology is reshaping retail faster than we can keep up, quickly adding layers of digital interface with shoppers, according to WSL/STRATEGIC RETAIL’s second edition of “From Buzz to Buy 2.0, the Guide to Retail Strategy in a Digital Shopping World.” Here are some of the study’s highlights, which reveals just how connected beauty shoppers are to their phones, computers and the digital realm.

Online Nation: The hours spent online by Americans aged 15 years and older (Internet Actives, as coined by WSL/SR) has increased 44%, from 16 hours per week to 23 hours, with most of the growth driven by hours spent socializing. Shopping hours have held to 5 per week.

Technology Drives Pre-tail: The top places Internet Actives visit for information before buying are manufacturers’ websites (66%), friends and family (61%), retailer websites (48%) and T.V. and magazine advertising (48%). Sales associates in stores are only valued by 27% as sources of reliable information.

Mobile Matters: Forty eight percent of Internet Actives use their mobile smartphone in-store while shopping—up 21percentage points from a year ago. And, they use it for many reasons: to take pictures of products, compare prices, get discounts and even update their status (“I’m shopping.”)

Hispanic Shoppers are Digital: Hispanics are more likely than Caucasians or African Americans to respond to every shopping option offered in the digital space. They’re the most active on social networking sites, use their mobile to find the best deals and to connect to the Internet to do research before they buy.

Digital Beauty Shoppers Buy: One-third of women now do their beauty homework online before they buy. And, once they do, three-out-of four buy online or in-store. Of the 20 product and service categories WSL/SR studied in “From Buzz to Buy 2.0”, beauty was the fourth most researched category (after electronics, entertainment and computers), and had the fourth highest conversion to buy.

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