This year, brick and mortar retailers have seen a significant change in apparel sales thanks to digital marketing. For the first time, more than half of retail clothing purchases are either online or influenced by the web.

According to a study by Google and Compete, 60 percent of consumers turn to the web to check prices at competing stores, read product reviews, watch video previews, and even find directions to storefronts.

Playing a major role in those changes are mobile devices. Twenty-four percent of apparel shoppers use tablets or smartphones on a daily basis to research deals, prices, or product information. Additionally, 75 percent research clothing online after seeing an offline ad.

According to the study, the most effective online marketing in terms of driving offline sales is video — including customer testimonials, reviews, as well as company-produced infomercials. Four out of 10 shoppers visit a store online or in person after watching a product video online. Thirty-four percent are likely to make a purchase after watching an online video ad, compared to only 16 percent after watching an ad on TV.

Google found that consumers who use video spend more than the average shopper. Twenty-five percent buy clothing more than once a month, compared to 16 percent of non-video researchers. Additionally, 28 percent have spent more than $500 on clothing in the past six months; whereas only two percent of shoppers who don’t check online videos have spent that much.

With the biggest shopping season of the year just around the corner, offline retailers need to catch up if you want to succeed. Having a strong e-commerce website is important, and it should be easily accessible from mobile devices as well. If you haven’t already, consider integrating videos into your marketing strategy.

Also, it’s worth being strategic when it comes to advertising. Of the devices consumers use to shop for clothing, 98 percent use a computer, 14 percent use a smartphone, and 10 percent use tablets. Make sure that your campaigns are optimized for either platform.

[Via: VentureBeat, Image credit: Stephen]