Some traditional online retailers are experimenting with showrooms without inventory to provide consumers with the opportunity to examine products at a physical location before buying them online. One in six shoppers say they have visited such retailers. These locations are finding some initial success with millennials, women and urban shoppers.
While marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay are well-established shopping resources, consumers are turning to them earlier to find the best deals. Thirty-five per cent of online shoppers now begin their searches at marketplaces.
Cross-channel transactions, which refer to purchases using in-store and at least one online channel, now account for 38 per cent of all purchases (up 2 points). Store-only searches and purchases declined by two points (to 20 per cent). Retailers must create seamless experiences that resonate with how their customers want to shop. Providing detailed product information with good photography, professional and peer reviews, and online access to store inventory (58 per cent find it important) are critical.
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Letter to Editor
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