The traditional retail operating model is based on a time-honored concept: consumers begin and
end their shopping experiences in one place, usually the store. In the 1990’s, retailers built their
e-commerce sites to emulate stores with the assumption that consumers would begin and end
their shopping trip on that channel, just as they did in the store. But by the early 2000’s,
consumers began exhibiting a new behavior, using the e-commerce channel to investigate
solutions for their lifestyle needs even when they intended to complete their purchases in a store.
Now, consumers can carry ‘the store’ around in their pockets and purses. The focus has changed from what the retailer wants to sell, to what the consumer wants to buy (and how they want it delivered).