ROPO effect and the new way of shopping
Online and offline retailers should take into great consideration the ROPO effect if they want to remain competitive in an increasingly connected world
Have you ever heard about the ROPO effect? If not, you should definitely read this article.
What is the ROPO effect?
ROPO is an acronym that stands for Research Online, Purchase Offline. It occurs every time a customer researches a product online but then buys it in a brick-and-mortar store. This type of consumer behavior has become more common with the advent of digital technology.
In fact, in the past, customers would typically visit a store, see a product they liked, and then purchase it on the spot. Today, thanks to website, e-commerce, smartphones and apps, they have the ability to research a product online before making a decision to buy it. Why do they do so? There are several reasons. For example, they may want to see and touch a product before they buy it, or they want to take advantage of in-store sales or discounts. And in some cases, they may not trust online retailers enough to make a purchase without seeing the product first.
In any case, customers who engage in ROPO behavior typically conduct extensive research before making a purchase. They may look for technical information, product reviews, price comparisons, coupon codes or discounts, or the nearest local business.
What does this mean for marketing strategies?
Whatever the reason, the ROPO effect is changing the way people shop. And it has implications for both online and offline retailers, who need to adapt their strategies accordingly.
We want to share with you two statistics that, even if they are not fresh, give you an idea of the importance of the ROPO effect,:
- 88% of consumers do online research before buying offline;
- 56% want to see and touch an item before buying it.
We can only imagine how much this trend has strengthened over the years.
However, the ROPO effect presents both challenges and opportunities.
On the one hand, it can be difficult to track ROPO customers since they often begin their customer journey on a third-party website or search engine. On the other hand, understanding the ROPO effect gives new opportunity for reaching more customers, both online and offline.
To take advantage of the ROPO effect, marketers need to focus on creating a seamless phygital customer experience. This means:
- providing customers with all the product information and customer reviews they need to make a purchase, whether they're doing it online or in-store;
- making sure that their products are visible and easily searchable online:
- designing marketing campaigns to reach customers at all stages of their journey, from awareness to consideration to purchase.
At the same time, offline retailers need to ensure that their stores are attractive, organized, and welcoming. They should offer also helpful and knowledgeable sales staff.
What you can do to take advantage of the ROPO effect
If you have a business, there are a few things you can do to make the above a reality:
Make sure you strengthen your online presence.
This means having a website that is easy to navigate and provides helpful information about your products. Additionally, make sure your business is listed on popular directories and review sites. If possible, add a chatbot for ensuring an effective customer service which may answer real-time to users’ doubts. Don’t neglect your social networks. Make sure you incentivize, collect and publish your customers' feedback and reviews. Finally, integrate all of this with tailored marketing campaigns.
Use data to your advantage.
Use data analytics to track customer behavior and learn more about what customers are looking for. This information can help you adjust your marketing strategy and make sure you are providing the products and services that customers want. And always pay attention to customer reviews and feedback.
- Focus on digital technology to create a positive customer experience online-to-offline and vice versa.
As consumers adopt online research into their purchase journey they have come to expect the same level of service and experience from physical shopping experiences. So, one technology you should invest into is connected products. Connected products allow the user to connect directly to detailed product information, guides, consumer reviews and social content about the product, directly from the product itself. This interactivity greatly enhances the shopping experience. You should also implement technologies such as smart labels and QR codes in the store so that consumers can interact live with products and collect information and reviews about them, in order to shorten the purchase path;
Other good ideas are:
- providing a convenient in-store pickup option for online orders (click and collect);
- implementing technologies such as smart labels and QR codes in the store so that consumers can interact live with products and collect information and reviews about them, in order to shorten the purchase path;
- adding to your online store a virtual dressing room based on augmented reality to give users the opportunity to see if a product (for example, clothing, make up, furniture) is right for them;
- creating an app that can offer all these services plus a digital loyalty program to incentivize both online and offline purchases.
Certilogo offers you everything you need for connecting people to your brand and take advantage of the ROPO effect.
Since 2006 we have brought over 500 million of fashion and luxury’s product online, transforming them into digital touchpoints. Our mission is to help brands integrate their physical products into the digital journey of consumers, who are increasingly connected and demanding.
From authenticity to customer engagement, we are leading brands’ connected products revolution! Find out more about Certilogo.