ROPO: Research Online Purchase Offline Capabilities
This week we read a great article: How retailers measure up on “research online, purchase offline” capabilities by Fiona Swerdlow the head of research at Shop.org
We’ve heard for years that you can’t measure an e-commerce site strictly in terms of the direct sales it generates. Since many consumers now start their shopping research online, a retailer’s website is likely to have a huge impact on in-store sales as well, even many times the size of direct web revenues. What’s your take on the global situation vis-à-vis “ROPO” – that is, “research online, purchase offline”? Any markets where this has become standard?
In our study, “ROPO” looked at the customer-facing tools and policies the retailers have, and not at “who is getting credit for sales” or “how the retailers are justifying the business case for investment.” We didn’t judge market standards for measuring the total impact on the business. However, you can tell by some of the country and category findings how this common shopping behavior has been given more attention by some retailers. Consistent with the overall study findings, the gap between leaders and laggards is quite wide, showing how far we have to go with ROPO cross-channel capabilities.
Read more from this interview with Jim Okamura, Managing Partner at Okamura Consulting, for his thoughts on the emerging “research online, purchase offline” (or “ROPO”) service offered by some retailers.
Judging from the results of the “Global Cross-Channel Retailing Report: The (Un)Connected Store” study conducted by Okamura Consulting and Ebeltoft Group earlier this year, some retailers and some categories are making strides, while others clearly have a fair bit of work ahead.