The buying process and the ‘ROPO’ effect

As part of the work we have been doing in Strategy around personalisation and the ‘buying’ process, I wanted to share some insights that may assist you when thinking of ways to deliver value for our clients.


Research Online, Purchase Offline or the ROPO effect.


The place of the offline (or in-store) interaction will always be significant, no matter how digital we become.

Do not get me wrong, online is where we need to be winning … BUT … offline is where the skills of your people and processes will drive your competitive advantage.

Statistics and reports show that emotionally connected customers (however small the connection is) are more than twice as valuable as highly satisfied customers.

Connections matter, we all need to feel connected.

Back to the ROPO effect.

ROPO describes the behaviour of customers (or users) that find out all the information they need about the product or service online, but make the final purchase in-store.

  • I am able to see, touch and try;
  • I get it immediately;
  • I am more certain about the fit / suitability;
  • I am more comfortable in-store


This is by no means a new concept, but I believe that the ROPO effect in its previous form describes the passive scenario of the customer starting the process.

The ROPO effect of tomorrow is about how you can trigger emotions proactively, to connect with customers and ‘prompt’ them to interact.


How you can blend your online strategy into everyday human interactions. How you can deliver advice, convenience and positive outcomes to your customers. How will you drive business metrics higher (increase reach, leads and conversions).


Customers research online before shopping, the research online while shopping and use the internet to shop locally, so how are you catering for this?

You have to take what you know about customer interactions that occur online (behaviours and patterns) and tailor the in-store experience to support these behaviours; the customer needs to feel like they are continuing the journey when they walk in-store, not starting it all over again.

Equally as important, you must use this in-store data, collected while customers are shopping and personalise your digital touchpoints.

“But we cannot track customers in-store.” … change that, fast.

Think personalised communication, interactive displays, click-and-collect, appointments or events, in-store connected apps, loyalty cards, POS systems, iPads, personalised in-store notifications / offers / specials, email and mobile message communication etc.


Australia provides a good customer experience, but it is not great.


There is a real opportunity for forward-thinking businesses to deliver an exceptional experience both online and offline.

Until next time,

Tony, Lead Experience Strategist

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