Over the December holidays, nearly 65% of shoppers researched products online and then purchased in stores at least half the time. What this means is multi-channel retailers that operate both web and brick and mortar storefronts can take what's happening online –not just purchases, but the silent, implicit behaviors of consumers browsing– and use it to see emergent trends and improve in-store merchandising.
Unfortunately, most retailers still look in the rearview mirror to determine what products are poised for financial success in the future and should therefore be prominently merchandized in the store. This is largely because so-called "predictive" applications tend to prioritize the wrong set of indicators, often identifying consumer trends months after the fact or relying on seasonal data from last year.
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