The Times is reporting that you people aren’t buying stuff online anymore. Online sales that once increased by 25% each year, are now increasing by less than 10%. The relationship between online outlets and brick and mortar stores is shifting, with some online outlets venturing into the real world to peddle their wares:
The reaction to the trend is apparent at Dell, which many had regarded as having mastered the science of selling computers online, but is now putting its PCs in Wal-Mart stores. Expedia has almost tripled the number of travel ticketing kiosks it puts in hotel lobbies and other places that attract tourists.
A dirty-sounding “clicks-and-bricks” hybrid model used by two of our favorite retailers – Best Buy and Sears – allows users to reserve items online and pick them up in stores, which may or may not have the items in stock. Several factors have conspired to keep consumers offline…
Nancy F. Koehn, a professor at Harvard Business School who studies retailing and consumer habits, said that the leveling off of e-commerce reflected the practical and psychological limitations of shopping online. She said that as physical stores have made the in-person buying experience more pleasurable, online stores have continued to give shoppers a blas
experience. In addition, online shopping, because it involves a computer, feels like work.
Our allegiance to the lowest price has made us loyal online shoppers; unless, of course, we find a better price offline. Are your buying habits shifting back to brick and mortar stores? Tell us in the comments. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER