Apparently more avid shoppers still get tired feet at the mall, rather than carpal tunnel syndrome from mousing their way to the Web checkout. As wild as it sounds, online retailers have begun opening real, live, you-can-walk-into-them stores, says a report from Yahoo! Finance’s Exchange blog.
For investors interested in retail, this could be a trend to keep an eye on.
“So what’s behind the bricks-and-mortar expansion? Well, first, that’s where more of the actual buying happens,” the Yahoo! report says, following with this quote:
“Online growth is fast outpacing offline. But in terms of sales volume, it remains small compared with bricks and mortar. So online retailers want to capture some of that share,” says Alden R. Lury, retail strategist at Kurt Salmon.
Yahoo! Finance adds that: “Online sales make up just 7% of overall retail sales, according to a February report by Forrester Research, which predicts that number to grow to nearly 9% by 2016.”
A recent Google/Ipsos study on pre-holiday 2012 consumer intentions reports that “80% of shoppers will research online before making a purchase this season. … For example, 51% of shoppers will research online and then visit the store to purchase, while 17% will visit a store first and then purchase online. Another 32% will research online, visit (the) store to view a product, then return online to purchase. In short, the shopper’s journey looks less like a funnel and more like a flight map, and the lines between online and offline shopping experiences are blurring.”
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