Staples – Can Online Investment Increase My Offline In Store Sales?

What is ROPO?

ROPO is the English acronym that is used for the expression “Research Online Purchase Offline”. This means that consumers spend time looking into the product/service on the internet, and then after their research is complete, they purchase the product offline.

Portugal has an old citizen ID card that is being switched out and phased out by a newer Citizen Card. Their new Citizen Card allows secured personal data authentication. In Portugal, Staples is one of the major brands who distributes this new ID card.

In research for this case study, they came across the fact that online searches such as “citizen card reader” are rapidly increasing. With the thought to take some efforts online and see what return could come of it, Staples invested in Google Adwords. Before the Adwords investment, monthly visits for “Citizen Card Reader” were 83 per month, and after the Adwords ran visits increased to 660 per month!! This is a 700% increase in visitors!!

In addition to the increased online traffic, in store sales for Staples increased form 45 per month to 110 per month! Because of this data, we proved that the ROPO Effect works and is correct. The ROPO Effect is such that with a small investment into an online internet campaign, we managed to get the customer to go physically to the store to make a purchase in store at Staples. This ROPO investment led to a 200% sales growth for Staples for the Citizen Card Reader.

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