Online shopping should be seen as complementary to brick-and-mortar retail and not as its enemy, speakers at the ICSC European Conference told the audience in Istanbul. Showrooming is also not to be feared as it more often benefits the physical store as consumers tend to research online and buy in person, said Alexander Otto, CEO of ECE Projektmanagement and chairman of ICSC's European Advisory Board. Alexander von Schirmeister, vice president for European expansion and cross-border trade at eBay, said in-store sales increase an average of 1.2% after a retailer establishes a presence on eBay. Westfield is one example of the trend, as it has agreed to open eBay "windows" in its retail centers, allowing retailers to have a digital presence in Westfield's centers.
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