"Research online, buy offline," (ROBO) is the concept that a growing volume of product research is happening online while the majority of buying remains offline in physical stores. A growing number of local search engines are basing their business model on the concept. But why haven't ROBO features picked up on a mass market level?
Articles by Michael Boland
The need to bridge the gap between the online and offline worlds is a key issue in local search. Though search volume continues to rise and capture a growing percentage of product research, more than 95 percent of actual purchase behavior in the U.S. still takes place offline.
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The epic battle fought by "online pure-plays" and "brick and mortar" companies moves to a new frontier: Local Search.