Posted by Jeff Kirby on August 5, 2015
High-quality online content doesn’t only help digital sales – it has a tangible effect on sales in physical stores as well. Even if a company’s online sales only represent a tiny portion of what they sell overall, the importance of having worthwhile content online cannot be overstated. We created this infographic about the ROPO effect (Research Online, Purchase Offline and Research Offline, Purchase Online) to help emphasize how integral the way products are presented online is to every point of sale.
For many consumers, buying online is as normal as getting in the car and driving to the store. When online sales first became relevant, it became immediately clear that consumers were using the Internet not only to purchase goods online, but also to learn about them before buying them in brick and mortar stores. The original idea of ROPO (Research Online, Purchase Offline) became essential in understanding that quality online content not only affected sales on retailer sites, but also in physical stores.
But as online sales have evolved and integrated into many people’s everyday buying habits, we now know that ROPO is in fact a two-way street. Consumers also Research Offline and Purchase Online, for example trying on clothing to make sure it fits right, or looking at the picture-quality of an HDTV in person before scouring the web for the best deal.
To help avoid confusion for all involved, the terms showrooming and webrooming were conceived to deal with ROPO’s now pesky dual meaning. Regardless of where customers are researching or buying, consistent, quality content across all channels is essential for finishing the sale. As our infographic states, 68% of customers are likely to participate in showrooming and 71% will participate in webrooming. This means most sales – online and in-store – are going to go through online channels at some point or another, whether they finish there or not.
Keeping content consistent throughout the buying process, a key facet of Omnichannel marketing, is imperative to giving customers a seamless learning and buying experience from website to storefront, and vice versa. As both the number of online shoppers and the influence of online content on in-store sales rise each year, the importance of quality online content rises with them.
Pay attention to online content as it will impact offline sales.
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