In-store sales are still the driving force behind retail sales despite the trend towards online shopping, according to a recent survey of senior retailers.

Research released to coincide with the World Retail Congress taking place in Paris this week revealed that 68% of sales are being made in physical retail stores, with the internet claiming a mere 16% share. 

Social media is currently only generating 2% of revenues, the study conducted by Australia’s Monash University found.

However, despite the dominance of in-store sales, many industry leaders have prioritised online channels, which they regard as a major business opportunity in the coming year.

More than 60% of those surveyed rated online, mobile and social channels as more important this year than they did last year.

In addition, more than half of respondents ranked social media and “peer-to-peer recommendations” as the primary influence on consumer behaviour, and 57% claimed that the age of digital interaction had left their brand more “in the spotlight”.

The survey was carried out with around 250 senior retail executives, with the majority CEOs, chairmen or managing directors.

The report comes a matter of weeks after Twitter announced the introduction of its ‘buy now’ button; an e-commerce function designed to allow users to make instant online purchases with the press of a button at the end of a tweet.

Broader industry analysis has revealed a relatively positive outlook for the global retail market, with sentiment concerning future growth described as moderately optimistic.

Asia remains the key focus for international growth, with the 2014 results also showing noteworthy increases in the attractiveness of North America, Central and South America and Africa.