ICSC thinks the death of the brick-and-mortar store model has been greatly exaggerated with e-commerce dominating the conversation on retail sales. The relationship is more symbiotic than some say, reasons ICSC.
The research firm notes the audacious growth rates of e-commerce come off of small base and will slow as the scale broadens. Last year, in-store sales grew 3.5% to $144B, while in-store purchases rose 17% to $38B.
Consumers are much more likely to make a purchase after visiting a store than browsing a website. ICSC thinks this indicates the e-commerce model without B&M showrooms would weaken.
A key point is that online retailers providing an in-store return option are able to deliver higher net sales than those without one - 95% vs. 77%. Consumers tend to buy extra goods when making the return trip to the store.