If you have a brick-and-mortar presence and are having difficulty bridging the metrics gap between online and off, you may be looking at an incomplete picture. There are a number of subtle cues and user behaviors that indicate a potential online purchase has moved offline. For example: tracking users who visited your store location and/or hours page and then quickly exited your site could indicate that a user moved from click to brick. This difficult-to-track metric is referred to as your Research Online Purchase Offline (ROPO) Conversion Rate.
Some big-name retailers like Target have started to test the implementation of Bluetooth and GPS location tracking into their apps to see where their users go in-store. When given proper permissions, Target wants to be able to collect data about the shopper — what parts of the store they visit, which transactions are researched offline and then purchased online — without the user even opening up their app. What this tells us is that brick-and-click retailers are constantly in search of new ways to help fill in the blanks between online and offline sales, and that ROPO matters.
Brick-and-click retailers need to be able to answer these simple questions:
- What are the indicators?
- What does each indicator signify?
- How does each indicator influence the accuracy and clarity of the bigger picture?
ROPO indicators often come down to location. If you’re noticing a fair number of clicks to your directions page or location page or are able to track the proximity of users clicking on these pages and find a low conversion rate, you can safely assume customers are researching offline and buying online. You will want to look closely at your conversion rates and how far users are from the distance of your store when making purchases. In other words, you can track offline purchases by zeroing in on your shoppers’ subtle online behaviors.