The high demand of online shoppers for delivery outside the home and e-booking have led online-to-offline services to absorb a large part of the growth of e-commerce. This is not exactly in the interest of the pure players of the online retail sector, who are therefore beginning to take a foothold in the physical world.

First, of course, by acquiring brick-and-mortar premises. In France, alongside the networks of stores established by LDLC or Spartoo, smaller sites have also opened showrooms, including Enviedefraise, Miliboo, L’Exception, LePetitBallon, etc. But that’s not all. In France, Priceminister now geolocates its BtoC adverts to be able to offer them through click&collect services. In Germany, Zalando, which as early as 2015 undertook to substantially develop its network of pick-up and drop-off points, started four pilot programmes in Berlin in June 2016 in order to expand its offline presence through partner stores: e-booking, online orders in case of unavailability in the stores, delivery by courier from stores stocks, and phone canvassing to deliver via click&collect rather than at home. As for Origami, the Japanese mobile marketplace, it is currently transforming into a store payment solution. Why such a change? Simply to take better advantage of the retail market, which is ten times bigger than e-commerce.

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Flore Fauconnier is a journalist. She covers e-commerce, retail and travel for Journal du Net (groupe Le Figaro), the first economics news site in France with 3.5 million unique visitors per month. She previously covered economics and politics for L'Express, Le Figaro Entreprises, France Soir and British publication The Heren Report. She started her career as an account manager in consultancy Wavestone (then Solucom). She holds an MSc in Engineering from Telecom Bretagne and a specialised master's degree in Media from ESCP-EAP.