With the rise of omnichannel, a retailer must reformulate in order to integrate all of its shopping channels. Part of this undertaking includes finding the best balance of products available in-store and online.
As a retailer, you don't have to sell in your physical store everything you sell online. There are times when it can be a good strategic move to use the online store as a showroom and laboratory for merchandise that the physical store doesn't offer — or doesn't offer yet.
If you are a small retailer with a store and an e-commerce site, you could find that one of the most valuable uses for your online channel is to try out products, brands or whole categories that may be too costly to commit to in stores in the first instance.
It's generally cheaper and carries lower inventory risk to do an online product launch rather than a store launch, and if it doesn't work out you can drop it without fanfare and also without the need to reset your physical store again.