There is still a role for stores as they reopen, but apparel and beauty retailers should stop seeing them as the primary point of engagement. Instead, they should focus on the online experience, and not see e-commerce simply as a means of moving product. Fulfillment-focused digital tactics lag behind face-to-face interactions in driving customer engagement—failing to spark inspiration, solve one-off problems or help shoppers find what they’re looking for. Fifty percent of consumers we surveyed said the most frustrating parts of lockdown shopping are customer-assistance related issues. In a world where time spent browsing and buying is increasingly online, the path from discovery to purchase is not straightforward. Consumers are increasingly bearing the burden of connecting various sources of inspiration with the right brand, retailer, season and style. And they don’t always get it right: Consumers return 25 percent of items purchased online, compared to 9 percent of what they buy in a store. Online returns are expensive, costing businesses as much as $10 per transaction. Read more at AdAge.