Let's say Audemars Piguet sold their simple pieces online, and insisted that those who were interested in the high horology pieces to acquire them from actual retailers.
To me, that would be a slap in the face if I were a person (with less financial means) who could only afford the non-complicated pieces. However, it is a convenience feature for corporations (who are purchasing them as corporate gifts) and for time-strapped wealthy individuals who need something quickly.
Basically, in my opinion, the internet is simply commoditizing the non-complicated pieces, they are pieces that can be easily found, easily gotten, and easily acquired.
A simple Patek Philippe Calatrava 5000 or 6000 is just another piece that can be gotten online. A non-complicated Royal Oak is something that be acquired online.
Also, this is a slippery slope, today, non-complicated pieces are going to be able to be acquired online. But tomorrow, petite complications (chronographs, annual calendars, time-zones) will be able to be acquired.