Target and Toys R Us posted overall sales declines during the holidays.
How the web plays out in the store; new reports from Nielsen Online and AMR Research.
A combination of developments-consumers’ use of the web to find products eventually bought in stores, improvements in Internet bandwidth and web-enabled software applications that connect stores to central databases as well as to the web itself, and increased recognition by retail executives of the importance of cross-channel shopping-is leading to more in-store web applications for shoppers as well as employees. The demand is underscored by the fact that most consumers, 58%, use the Internet as their first choice for researching products purchased in a store, according to Nielsen Online. Retailers, meanwhile, are providing in-store kiosks and wireless devices to let shoppers access a store’s web site for product information or to place an online order, according to a report from AMR Research Inc., “Advanced Selling Technologies: On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!”
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