Retail stores have long struggled with the problem of customers shopping there, but then actually buying the products online. Best Buy and Barnes & Noble are great examples of chains hit hard by the phenomenon. Circuit City and Borders are examples of the casualties.

Now there’s another nail in that coffin: the phenomenally impressive digital fly-throughs being created for new boxed sets like this one from Concord Music Group (Hear Music) for Sir Paul McCartney and Wings.

One of the most difficult things about buying expensive products online is the inability to explore them — to touch and feel and handle and mess with the thing you think you may want to purchase. But a well-done unboxing video takes a huge leap toward giving you that experience.  It makes it much more comfortable to part with your $160, to buy something you’ll clearly cherish if you’re a hard-core fan.

By contrast, CMG released their McCartney RAM project without an unboxing video. It hasn’t done as well as, say, their Duane Allman boxed set which did have a video — and which sold out in a week.

The buzz for Wings Over America seems to be working. My cousin Adam, a rabid McCartney fan and collector of many boxed sets, knew all about this one almost immediately. And now you do, too.

(Thanks to my friend Eric Eliel for sending this to me. He worked  with Integrated Communications to help produce the package. Can’t wait to see it in person.)