Online stores are not killing physical stores



The online store is not killing the physical store but adding value to the retail business model. The average value of an online purchase picked up at an outlet is higher because the basket can be proactively complemented with additions to the original purchase during pick-up. In certain cases, the customer can even be offered a better product during pick-up. This case relates to stores with IT products but also applies to other businesses.


John Lewis is a British commercial company with almost 150 years of tradition. Its presence on the Isles includes 40 commercial centres and almost 300 Waitrose supermarkets, online and catalogue sales, production and a farm. Their annual sales amount to around 9 billion pounds, and their figures on multi-channels marketing are as follows:

  • 63% of customers check out the store’s online services before making a purchase at the physical store
  • 29% of customers explore the services at a physical store before making an online purchase
  • 89% of customers who shop at the online store also shop at the physical store
  • 30% of all online customers collect their purchases at the physical store (at M&S stores, this percentage is already 40%)
  • The “click and collect” model is growing at a rate double that of online sales growth
  • Multi-channel customers visit stores three times more often than single-channel ones
  • Multi-channel customers spend 3.5 times more money than single-channel customers
  • Multi-channel customers are twice as loyal
  • 5 million visits to the online store through mobile devices
  • The largest mobile purchase is the purchase of a bed for 3,000 pounds

»Online sales aren’t cannibalising the physical store. Anyone who thinks so should withdraw, retire or move to a remote island,«, says Martin Newman from the consultancy Practicology.

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