Retailers that have started a hybrid of online/in-store marketing, like Sears and REI, have found that customers who use this strategy are more likely to buy additional products when they pick up their items, according to Patti Freeman Evans, an analyst at Jupiter Research, in an interview with Practical eCommerce.
Freeman Evans believes smaller, local merchants should learn from industry giants, and says that within the next three years, "nearly half of all retail sales will be influenced or transacted online."
She explains that, "The 'influenced-by' number comes from the people who will go online maybe to just find a store or maybe to do days and days of research on a product. Then they go offline and make the purchase."
If you are involved in local marketing, and trying to make sense of what to do now to prepare for the next few years, this is a must read..