With e-commerce on the rise, people werenbt sure how high-speed Internet would affect the retail sector of commercial real estate. Though it naturally seems like e-commerce could hurt physical retail stores, Why? Firstly, consumers can use the Internet to comparison shop, which ultimately reduces the amount of time they spend shopping when they go to pick up an item in a storebwhich, in turn, encourages them to do more shopping since now it takes less time. Many consumers still want to see or touch goods before they purchase, so they still go into a physical store to get this experience; they just have more direction after researching online.

Secondly, retailers can use the Internet to help directly market their goods and build a community of loyal customers. According to David Lynn in the NREI article:

bTo date, the Internet presents more opportunities than drawbacks for brick-and-mortar retailers. Multi-channel retailing has translated into more effective retail business models and will be a vital part of retail strategy going forward.b

What do you think about the effect of e-commerce on retail CRE?

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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