For years now, shopping has been gradually migrating to the Internet as more consumers discover the advantages of online shopping over the old-fashioned practice of picking over merchandise in an actual store environment. Why get dressed, hop in the car, and drive somewhere, when you can get on the computer and purchase the same items with a few clicks of your mouse?
Yet many online retailers are realizing the value of the in-person shopping experience. After all, the majority of retail transactions are still performed in-store. Even Amazon.com
Other, less flashy retailers have also made the move to Main Street reality. Take men's clothier Bonobos, founded online and found only online (except for one obscure Manhattan location) -- until recently. The company has teamed up with tony retailer Nordstrom
Is it now fashionable to cater to customers who prefer tangible, rather than virtual, shopping? There seems to be no danger that any of these companies will reduce its online presence. However, this movement into the world of traditional merchandising seems a nod to the notion that there is something intrinsically satisfying for customers to handle and examine products they want to buy. The idea is clearly getting the attention of online merchants, at least some of which are now fine with being considered touchy-feely.
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Fool contributor Amanda Alix owns no shares in the companies mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Best Buy, and Amazon.com. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Amazon.com, and Apple. Motley Fool newsletter services have also recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.