Chances are that your eCommerce site contributes 3.2 times more to your company’s revenue than you think.
If you’re serious about eCommerce, you need to need to know your eCommerce site’s ROPO (Researched Online and then Purchased Offline) rate.
Many consumers in developed economies often research products online before deciding to purchase them offline in brick & mortar stores. Although large $ purchases like automobiles are obvious candidates for this cross-channel effect, ROPO is a factor in just about every consumer product category.
What determines the size of ROPO from country to country depends on a number of factors according, including:
- the ability to purchase online
- mobile shopping options
- the availability of bricks & mortar infrastructure
- credit card use and consumer confidence in online payment systems
- security, and delivery and fulfillment infrastructure
According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group entitled The Internet Economy in the G20, Canadian ROPO revenue was 3.2 times the size of online transactions.
Why is ROPO so important to your eCommerce strategy?
For eCommerce Managers in Bricks & Clicks companies, ROPO gives you a legitimate way to estimate the overall revenue impact of your eCommerce site. For example, if your online transactions are $1.0M per year, then, based on Canada’s average ROPO rate, your site actually influences revenue of 4.2M (1.0 online plus 3.2 ROPO) per year.
When you don’t include ROPO in your financial calculations, online investments are consistently underestimated in value to the organization.
How to calculate your own ROPO rate
If this Canadian industry average is insufficient for your needs, consider calculating your own specific ROPO rate.
How? One approach is to simply conduct some primary customer research. Survey in-store customers about their online activities prior to visiting the store.
However, a more efficient and effective way may be to tap into the potential of using web analytics and multichannel tracking. Google Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik has written an excellent blog post on Multichannel Analytics: Tracking Offline Conversions.
Kaushik offers seven proven tactics, including:
- Tracking online traffic associated with “store locator” pages, searches, and events
- Tracking the use of online coupons at offline stores
- Conducting online surveys
Check out the rest of Kaushik’s tactics here.
Design your Website to support ROPO
Recognizing that many Canadian buyers prefer to research online and purchase offline, you might consider designing your website to specifically assist these offline conversions. We’ll cover these “how to” details in an upcoming post.
Until next time – Axel