Published on: 23 Aug 21  |  Reading : 3 minutes

Understanding the ROPO concept and how it affects consumer behaviour

Explore the ROPO effect and learn how to harness it to develop your business.

The ROPO effect is a relatively recent concept which proves that consumers are now happy to vary things, mixing web-based research with shopping trips before making a purchase. Consumer habits are changing, and demonstrate a growing interest in the digital world. This also means that businesses with little or no involvement in online marketing need to pay more attention to their online presence if they are to become stronger offline.


What is the ROPO effect?

The ROPO effect follows from the growth of e-commerce and consumers’ need for better comparison and knowledge of products before making an in-store purchase.

ROPO: a simple definition

“ROPO” is the acronym for “Research Online, Purchase Offline”.  The ROPO effect, therefore, refers to how consumers behave: they research their product on a website before buying it in a shop.

How to conceive and implement ROPO

First of all, you need to identify your offline sales (e.g. using loyalty cards or email queries converted to sales at the till). Synchronize those sales with your allocation tool. You can send reconciled sales later on, on set dates, based on a common ID (email, telephone number, etc.).

Following those first two stages, identify what impact the ROPO effect could be having on your business:

  • Identify offline sales;
  • Identify those corresponding to a marketing history;
  • Calculate the % of ROPO offline sales;
  • Calculate the global % of ROPO sales;
  • Compare the ROPO data with the online data. You will then see which products benefit the most and the consumer profiles involved.

All that remains for you to do is spot the significant differences between the online levers and ROPO levers to identify which exhibit the best conversion rate. These things will enable you to picture your customer journey.

All you need to do then is compare the online and ROPO levers and envisage the ideal customer journey. In particular, that will tell you whether your branding campaigns are effective or not.


The effects of ROPO on consumer behavior.

To help you in your management of the ROPO effect, you can use several tools, described below.

5 tools for galvanizing the ROPO effect


  • Digital signage

To make a space even more attractive, picture walls and information screens are some of the most effective media when it comes to marketing. They create an atmosphere, present a corporate vision, upcoming event or any other message judged relevant and important by the business agreeably and strikingly. Positioned in a waiting area, digital signage in shops and at points of sale helps time pass more quickly. Whatever your company’s objectives, the tool can adapt to your needs, rather than the other way round.


  • Tablets

Tablets provide an interface between the physical world and the digital world. This medium has proved itself when it comes to interactively presenting a project or showing the advantages of digitization.

  • Digital signs

Printed posters have had their day! Digital signage is now the way forward. What are the advantages for you? It is easy to update and has a much longer lifespan than print.

  • Artificial intelligence

Why not make use of artificial intelligence if you want to improve your understanding of your customers’ needs? You can offer personalized marketing services once you have identified your customers’ personalities, for example.

  • Interactive terminals

These create a stronger link between your customers and you, particularly when you ask them their opinions on a specific aspect of your business or your dealings with them.


The advantages of ROPO for customer experience


  • A higher conversion rate

Individuals who engage in cross-channel behavior have a conversion rate 16% higher than consumers who do not research in advance.


  • Scouting for the products they want

Consumers have access to a lot of information online. They can compare different products from various brands before going on to buy.


  • Testing products in the shop

Before buying the product they have found, 78% of customers will want to touch and test it first.


  • Immediate use of the product after purchase

In contrast to an order placed over the Internet and the inherent delivery time, customers can quickly use the product.


Limitations of ROPO


  • Rejection if the queue is too long

An excessively long queue at a store checkout point will put off 78% of people questioned. The longest acceptable wait is 10 minutes.

  • It cannot be applied to all retail categories

In food, it is difficult to establish a link between digital exposure online and shopping offline. Other practices exist which are more suitable for this kind of purchase, such as Click & Collect.


So the ROPO effect obliges those businesses that are under-digitized to look again at their habits and open up to new practices. If that also requires you to think about your target and the message you want to put across, then bowing to the demands of ROPO allows you to strengthen your online presence, and thus reach a wider target.


So Cenareo has established itself as your partner of choice when it comes to boosting communication. Its digital signage software allows easier management of screens. Intuitive, robust, and flexible, this solution combines quality support and expertise to guarantee ROI-focussed communication.

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