ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline), also known as ROBO (Research Online, Buy Offline) is a 2021 e-commerce trend. Although it implies the in-store shopping popularity, it is a result of e-commerce effectiveness.
The e-commerce industry is rapidly expanding, with online shopping transactions expected to reach $6388 billion in 2024. Besides, we are seeing an ever-increasing change in consumers’ shopping preferences from online to offline all around the world.
Here are some numbers to consider while studying ROPO:
- 67% of consumers conduct online research before making their buying decision.
- 57% of consumers who research online before purchase are males.
- 62% of buyers check online reviews on their mobile before shopping.
The point we can get from these stats is that brick-and-mortar shops should enhance their business model with e-commerce.
Many stores were trying hard to go totally online and replace e-commerce with their traditional business model. They were seeking ways to reduce fixed costs and increase margin. ROPO proved that strategy wrong. While native app development in Australia to start m-commerce is an effective step forward, keeping the physical presence can also be beneficial.
To better understand why customers behave in the ROPO model should be analyzed from two aspects.
Why Do Customers Do RO (Research Online)?
The first aspect of ROPO is to comprehend why they prefer online research to completely offline shopping.
One important reason behind RO is that shopping store by store can be exhausting while researching online is easier.
There are also comparing tools usually available through online shops that make life much easier for shoppers.
Some customers use online research at the initial stages of their customer journey, to gather information. Then they continue the journey offline and in-store.
So, many of your customers may still want to buy offline. But you should invest in digital channels and make a budget for youtube ads cost to increase their product information.
Another reason that customers prefer offline buying can be their reluctance in paying for delivery and shipment costs.
Why Do Customers Do PO (Purchase Online)?
The second aspect of customers’ ROPO behavior is the logic behind not purchasing online what they researched online.
Many marketers believe that customer support or expert guidance provided in a physical shop is the explanation for ROPO. Though research in 2017 proved that employee attention and consultancy were not the most important factors.
Fear of not having the right product is one of the most significant barriers to purchasing directly from the website. An example is a fear that a dress may not look on you like it does on the website’s model. Another example is the fear of buying shoes that don’t fit your feet.
Another reason is concerns regarding the appearance of product images to be different on the website than real products.
How to Make the Most Out of ROPO Trend in 2021?
Now that you know why people research online and buy offline, it’s time to see how to use it to your advantage.
You can always ask any of the 10 top web design companies for consulting on the design changes. Here is a list of tips to make the most out of this e-commerce trend:
- Work on your local
Make purchasing from you easy by local
- Build detailed customer profiles
Cater your website and social media content based on detailed customer profiles. Understanding what they are looking for in their online research and leading them to your physical store is the key.
- Be available and accessible
While your ROPO behaving customers are searching for information, you should be there to be found. Many customers research products in eBay, Amazon, and other marketplaces. So, show your availability in providing information, and accessibility to purchase from your shop.
- Don’t forget about social commerce
Take advantage of the sales-oriented features of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, to your advantage. Many people check their social media accounts before making a buying decision.