Showrooming, an inventory-free approach to retailing where a shopper visits a store to test out products before ultimately purchasing the product online has been in the news of late and appears to be a trend that’s here to stay.

The New Way to Drive Online Sales: Show and SellDigital-native retailers like Casper, Everlane and Warby Parker have begun opening physical stores in key markets. Casper unveiled plans to open 200 store locations in order to set themselves apart from other direct-to-consumer mattress companies that have sprung up online over the past few years. Customers can touch and feel products before purchasing them, helping Casper to expand their brand reach and strengthen their focus on providing the outstanding customer experience they’re renowned for online.

Although showrooming was initially feared by brick-and-mortar retailers, showrooming offers significant growth opportunities for inventory-free, brick-and-mortar stores, including a focus on providing an exceptional customer experience and freeing up physical locations to double as pickup points for online orders.

As brick-and-mortar stores evolve to remain relevant in the digital era, we’re entering into a phase where brick-and-mortar is finding its place as a driver for customer experiences and pickup points for online purchases, as opposed to glorified warehouses with limited inventory.

Read more from Frank Poore, CEO and Founder about why showrooming is an important strategy for retailers via Internet Retailer.