No surprise: Customers favor e-commerce with a local footprint

RetailWire panelists recently discussed a study that revealed consumer preferences about where to conduct their e-commerce business. It’s not an earth-shaking discovery to learn that shoppers are more trusting of sites where they have experience in the retailers’ brick-and-mortar stores. Here’s my brief comment:

While it’s helpful for retailers to develop e-commerce sales in markets where they don’t have physical stores, the results of this study shouldn’t come as a surprise. Familiarity with a local brick-and-mortar store (or even a local branch of a national chain) is likely to give the e-shopper confidence in the merchandise content and store experience, along with a way to deal more easily with returns. The rapid growth of BOPIS (“Buy online, pickup in store”) and related omnichannel initiatives will continue to drive this trend.

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