Introduction to ROPO
How to prove the value of marketing research? There are, of course, apparent metrics like KPI and ROI. Yet, either one of the possible standard solutions does not explain the extended range of marketing efforts or proves online marketing correlation to physical sales conducted later on.
But there is a way to measure how your advertisement affects customers in many different ways, and it is called ROPO analysis, an abbreviation to “Research Online Purchase Offline.” This practice allows you to analyze your advertisement’s full effect on all cohorts of your customers, thus enabling you to build more coherent reports and pay more attention to some approaches previously deemed ineffective.
Connect the dots over the customer’s actions online (i.e., searching for a product and selecting the one they like) and purchases conducted afterward, not only directly from the online storefront interface. Why would a customer do that?
- Some buyers claim that they need to evaluate the products before purchasing it: check the features available, compare prices, look at specifications closely without a consultant buzzing over their head;
- Later, when they select the product, they need to ensure it’s okay in a physical way. For example, a phone – how does it lie in hand? Is it not too bulky?
- Others are concerned about the delivery and the security of online purchases, thus feeling the need to acquire the product in the physical store by themselves.
All of those customers are unaffected by the usual metrics, yet they make a significant sales chunk. To track down the journey from seeing a product online to the moment of purchase, check out a Consumer Barometer from Google.
Useful cases to research your audience
There are a few possible approaches to conducting the ROPO analysis and its effects on your business. We’ll list a few common ones:
- Re-estimate the effectiveness of your advertisement. Imagine that your case is mostly an online store with a few small representations offline. How to evaluate the product if its online sales leave a lot to be desired, but it is extremely popular offline? Study the user’s activity on the product page and compare it with bursts in purchases. This comparison may show you a different side to your ad campaigns and the key points you should re-evaluate.
- Target only users who need to be targeted. A typical case – a user adds items to the cart but never purchases them online. Which users should you remind about the purchase, and who uses the cart as a wish list to buy items later on? Targeting only the first ones may be more efficient.
- Evaluate your supply. Create specific campaigns (with discounts, for example) for users previously checking a particular product online. Determine the popular wares and think about how it could sell if it goes well according to ROPO metrics.
- Improve your strategies. Think about the reasons behind why a product goes well in retail yet doesn’t sell well online? Maybe there’s something wrong with the presentation, website’s functionality, or anything else? Research different metrics to explore the exact results.
Two ways ROPO analysis can go:
The first way is direct. Know your user-base: identify specific users and link their behavior while using your service with offline purchases. Analyze how do registered members behave after experiencing your service first-hand and find a correlation.
The second one is “impersonal data fusion.” Link together the impersonal data from your visitors, online and offline, to get a picture of impact from offline advertisement (i.e., ads on TV, radio, big boards) and listing on online marketplaces, like Amazon or Facebook. That way, you can’t get exact results but are able to track the dynamic between airing the ad and peaks in sales.
Proving the correlation between advertising and sales
Identify your users by combining your online service stats with the transaction history from your CRM-like accounting base. Then, find out the segment of users viewing the products on your site to then check it out (and purchase) in an offline store by creating tables for comparison and monitoring the data. We recommend using services like Google BigQuery – upload your stats, build a report with a full amount of data and sort it by any parameter you find useful for your research.
Which data do you need to compare?
- Online behavior. First, download the data from Google Analytics. Then, get it ready for future analysis by uploading it to Google BigQuery. Check the relevance of user ID’s, transfer, and verify your data to start analyzing it.
- Offline purchases. The key here is your CRM data (assuming that you track the purchases from registered members with loyalty discount campaigns). Then, research the transaction data by several different parameters. Ensure the data is as detailed as it can be to prove the relevance of your research.
- Ad reports. Transfer the data about your expenses to Analytics, then export it to Google BigQuery. It helps to calculate return on assets and discover the connection between purchases and advertisement expenses.
What to do with all that data?
User ID is the most relevant parameter you should use to link all data between behavior, purchases, and ads. You can track the signed-up members’ actions at your service using Analytics and then import it to BigQuery and compare it with all the rest. Of course, users need to sign up first, so consider loyalty ad campaigns and bonuses to registered users to raise the percentage of relevant data viable for analysis. As the user gets into your loyalty program, they may use it during offline purchases, which will help find the connection between CRM data and behavioral data.
An easy way to perform the research: OWOX BI Smart Data
Of course, some services perform all of that automatically. Consider OWOX BI Smart Data. Upload your behavioral data, CRM reports, and advertisement information to Google BigQuery and connect it to Smart Data to receive detailed reports in easy visual form. For example, you may receive the report about the ROPO share in your conversions during the last 30 days (or any period), track ROPO share in the user’s lifetime value, or explore the effectiveness of different advertising channels and their influence on ROPO purchases.
Since marketing campaigns’ effectiveness related to registered users can be measured, how can you ensure that analyzing ROPO sales can help you build a clear picture of your audience’s actions? To answer this, find out which figure can be called the core of your audience – registered users and their chunk in all of your online and retail sales. It may differ, but the loyal and registered audience that you may analyze amounts to up to 40% of users in most services (in our experience). It may even increase during some events, like Black Friday. Still, researching your audience’s behavior allows you to create a parallel between how users think and what leads to a purchase, no matter where it is conducted.