"Web-influenced sales" are sales in local stores that are generated through online marketing and research.
One critical reason for the growth of sales at the local stores has been to save on shipping costs. However the consumer of the 21st century has another important desire: instant gratification. This is the age of the here and now, and shoppers are as impatient as anyone else. If they want a product, chances are they want it now, not in the five days -- or longer -- that it could take to ship across the country.
The most important reason consumers shop at local stores, according to a Forrester Research report, is that they don't want to wait for their product to arrive (51 percent). The second most compelling reason is that they want to see a product in person before purchasing (42 percent).
This fact was further collaborated by the recently published State of Online Grocery Shopping by AaramShop, which reports that upto 85% of the orders received are for the same day delivery - something which has been enabled by the hybrid model followed by AaramShop & it's network of independent neighborhood retailers.
These things seem logical to the brick-and-mortar retailer. Though technological improvements can allow shoppers to see every angle of a product through online videos and demos, nothing can provide the same comfort and experience as actually holding a product and trying it out before deciding to buy it. Having the opportunity to try the product for yourself also alleviates the likelihood of having to send it back, thereby spending twice the amount on shipping.
The way consumers use the Internet has evolved, transitioning from Web-based sales to what Forrester calls "Web-influenced sales" -- sales in local stores that are generated through online marketing and research. These Web-influenced offline retail sales are growing by billions of dollars a year in the United States.