Over a decade ago, Google partnered with Görtz and conducted a case study to investigate a new shopping behavior that customers are increasingly engaging in - that is ROPO (research online, purchase offline). They found out that online research was, in fact, driving offline purchases.
11 years later, the ROPO phenomenon is here to stay and has become a vital segment of the omnichannel trend. In this post, we’ll first help you understand ROPO by clarifying its definition and presenting relevant statistics. Then, we'll present 3 simple but effective ways to optimize your business for ROPO.
Sounds interesting? Let’s get started!
What is ROPO?
Modern consumers want to make informed purchase decisions. Over the recent years, this practice has already been well established. Yet, during the global COVID-19 pandemic, this trend accelerated even more with the development of Click and Collect during extended business closures. Click and Collect refers to the process of online reservation and subsequent pick-up of the product at the physical store. Nowadays, all sales channels are interconnected: The online store has become an extension of the physical store and vice versa.
Today, ROPO is often equated with Click and Collect, and they both are vital segments of omnichannel or multichannel retail strategies.
ROPO statistics and trends
Why should you care about the ROPO effect? Let's find the answer to this question by looking at some latest statistics and trends.
- 88% of shoppers do research online before making a purchase.
- The internet has become an essential tool for research. According to Google, 78% of people in the US look to the internet first when they need to research something.
- Customers research online while physically doing in-store shopping. Online behavior influences 56% of all sales made in-store.
- Want to physically touch and try the product is the most cited research for still preferring physical stores. 56% of shoppers visit physical stores to first see, touch, and feel products before they buy.
- Some customers purchase offline because they hate shipping. 34% of customers don't want to wait for items to arrive, and 25% complain that shipping costs are too high sometimes.
As mentioned above, ROPO is a key segment of the omnichannel retail trend.
- Harvard Business Review observed the shopping behaviors of 46,000 consumers and found out that around 73% of consumers prefer shopping through multiple channels. Comparatively, 7% of consumers shop online exclusively, and 20% shop merely in-store.
7. Almost 90% of retail leaders agree a seamless omnichannel strategy is critical to business success.
Wanna learn more? Check out the latest statistics and trends on omnichannel right here.
The ROPO and omnichannel trends point to the fact that your online presence (particularly your e-commerce website) has a significant impact on your offline sales 🖥 💰
3 ways to optimize for ROPO
When this new trend in consumer behavior is here to stay, you should consider the ROPO effect in your future business strategies. Here're 3 ways you can optimize for ROPO and create a positive impact on your overall sales and business growth:
- Use content recommendations to help customers with their product research. While nearly 90% of shoppers do research online before making a purchase, why don’t you help your customers with their product research? With Clerk's Content Recommendations tool, you can turn your blog posts into a profit center. By automatically displaying relevant content (e.g., blog posts and landing pages), you can help customers do their research (comparing products, features, prices, etc.) while they’re viewing or searching for a product.
- Improve customer experience with an omnichannel approach. By using Clerk Audience as a CDP, you can get a unified and holistic overview of each customer’s entire shopping journey across multiple channels. And based on a better understanding of your customers, you can then provide them with the long-desired seamless, personalized shopping experiences across different channels and platforms.
- Take care of your e-reputation. Up to 93% of consumers say that online reviews influence their purchase decisions. Today, when a consumer has to make a purchase decision, they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. So, it's crucial to improve your online presence and reputation, as you can easily use online reviews to connect with your customers and encourage positive buying recommendations.
Under the current trend of ROPO, Clerk will be a powerful vehicle for you to drive multichannel sales and generate revenues. Talk to one of our specialists today.