March 1, 2012, 12:00 AM

Online outshines stores

Web sales continue to outshine store sales.

The web continues to outshine bricks-and-mortar as the retail channel offering the most growth potential, according to a January survey of 94 retailers by research and advisory firm Retail Systems Research LLC. RSR found that 63% of multichannel retailers expect the online channel to account for a sharp increase in the share of their total sales by 2015, while fewer than 10% expect the web to account for fewer sales. "We find the number of retailers committed to stores as a major growth strategy declining and the need to do a good job integrating the customer experience across all channels more and more of an imperative," RSR says in the study, "eCommerce 2012: Back to the Future." Challenges remain, however, with retailers citing in particular the problem of engaging multiple segments of consumers online. It follows, then, that among their top priorities are using online analytics and improving online merchandising.

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