Why am I not surprised? Web commerce with it's convenience, easy comparison shopping and no tax are definite advantages over brick and mortar. I believe this will be a trend until stabilization or new "web commerce" like features start appearing in the store (eg. the ability to capture how much time is spent in different parts of the store and being able to identify customers just by having them walk into the store).
StorefrontBacktalk - Techniques, Tools, and Tirades about Retail Technology and E-CommerceIn an overall down market where the 150-store Nordstrom chain is seeing a 4.3 percent sales drop, online operations are jumping 15 percent–accounting for almost 8 percent of all sales. Company execs now project online to soon top 10 percent. Even more intriguing: Nordstrom is reporting a sharp increase in the number of multi-channel shoppers, who now represent almost a third of all sales.
But Nordstrom is doing online differently, according to this wonderful profile in The Puget Sound Business Journal Seattle. First, Nordstrom is delivering the identical merchandise online and offline, a tactic quite different than many other cross-channel retailers. Secondly, its call center staffing has not been outsourced, a move that the customer service-intensive chain said gives it a competitive advantage.