What is ROPO? Research Online Purchase Offline

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ROPO Research Online Purchase Offline


Profile picture for user Maria Jose Guerrero

Maria Jose Guerrero

The ROPO effect dictates that some consumers prefer to research products online but then buy them in brick-and-mortar stores. The acronym ROPO, which stands for Research Online Purchase Offline, defines customers who want to check product characteristics and quality online or prefer to snap up items immediately. The ROPO effect can initially be a challenge affecting online sales. However, it can also deliver advantages for eCommerce with multiple sales channels, if prices are optimized correctly alongside a bespoke omnichannel strategy.

Retailers with both physical and online stores should be acutely aware of the volume of customers who prefer to buy at brick-and-mortar points of sale. They should also know their characteristics. This is key as according to a Harvard Business Review study, around 73% of consumers prefer to shop through multiple channels.

An omnichannel strategy must be consistent and strengthen the brand or retailer’s image to ensure the best possible shopping experience. You can add improvements to your eCommerce to convince potential customers to purchase products online, a format that usually delivers higher profits, boosts loyalty, and makes shopping possible 24/7. 

Review and adjust your online pricing strategy

For customers more attuned to the ROPO model, price is key when researching online since these users tend to spend more time comparing multiple sellers’ deals. That is why you should ensure your online prices are consistent with your other sales channels and your overall strategy. You can also offer a financial incentive to try to tip the scales toward online shopping. This may include:

  • Offers that are only available for online purchases or cumulative post-purchase discounts.

  • Free shipping or the option to click and collect for free.

  • Free and easy returns from home.

After an initial purchase, it becomes easier to send new users personalized offers based on their preferences, or exclusive promotions through media such as newsletters. This not only helps build customer loyalty but also helps to increase the company’s sales and profit margin.

Research Online Purchase Offline

Improve your product pages with quality information

Providing detailed product information is another factor that helps convince customers who prefer the ROPO model to complete their purchases online. Include detailed information on each product’s features, finishes, materials, properties and/or functionalities on the product pages, as well as high-quality images and videos. This gives the user a sense of security and speeds up the final purchase decision. You can also include genuine buyer reviews about the store and all the products, as well as a FAQ section. You can also use a tool to helps you compare the quality of your competitors’ product sheets against your own

Should this not succeed in allaying your consumers’ lingering doubts, excellent customer service is crucial to attend to their every need. This can be the difference between closing a sale, or not.

Finally, to optimize your omnichannel pricing strategy and increase sales across all channels, it is vital to have a competitor price monitoring system that provides detailed and accurate information on the movements of other companies at all times. This will allow you to anticipate their movements and apply the necessary changes to your pricing strategy to maintain competitiveness. 

Find out how Minderest can take your business to the next level.

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