Thursday, June 28, 2012

Digital World Now Coaxing Shoppers Back to Stores

No longer antagonists, the online and offline camps are joining forces. 

For the first time since the fashion industry’s (initially tepid) adoption of everything digital a few years ago — from e-commerce, to mobile, to social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest — the focus is on getting consumers back into the stores.

Ironically, software developers are unleashing tools designed to get foot traffic into physical retail locations.

Digital is central to the equation — as the extensive reach and power of online has the capacity to give consumers immediate information and the extra push they might need to make their way into brick-and-mortar shops.

Forrester Research predicts that, by 2016, more than half of the dollars spent in domestic retail will be influenced by the Internet — and it’s the brands and retailers who adopt the most cohesive cross-channel strategies that will excel both on and offline, according to a Cross Channel Retail Forecast released earlier this month. Forrester’s research estimates that, by 2016, the volume of sales occurring in physical stores as a result of Web research will reach $1.67 billion — or 52 percent of total retail sales.  

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