Consumers are increasingly doing online research before they head out for holiday gifts. When they get to stores, they're pulling out smartphones and tablets to compare prices and read reviews.
For their part, retailers are both pushing people to their Web sites - so they can cut back on in-store stock expenses - and using Web-based initiatives, such as free Wi-Fi, to keep shoppers in their stores.
Online and offline experimentation will be omnipresent this holiday season, as retailers and consumers both try to figure out the most effective way to shop.
"One of our major strategies is to let (multiple shopping channels) blend together," says Martine Reardon, Macy's executive vice president of marketing and advertising. "My challenge is to give shoppers that great experience from every channel."
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