Research Online, Purchase Offline !


Source:, 2015

Retail brands seem to be finding a solution to not be bogged down by eCommerce websites that take advantage of consumer behaviour information better than brick and mortar retailers.

Possible solution? A buzzword going around among the retailers- Omnichannel – universal presence of a brand, especially digital in today’s world. Consumers have little interest in this buzzword though, they care about the experience of easily accessing information of the product, be it on catalogue, website, Facebook or Instagram. Single retail brands have become very active in all possible online channels to keep themselves relevant and attracted in the customer’s eyes. It has been seen that brands that integrate eCommerce in their brick and mortar marketing approach are more likely to win over consumer’s hearts. This move from the brands comes from observing the shift in the consumer behavioural patterns.

Getting it right!

Coles is one of the retailers in Australia that has taken maximum advantage of this behavioural shift. Apart from their stores, they have Coles Online, which is compatible with mobile as well, Coles Mobile App so you don’t have to rely on a browser. Coles is pampering their consumers with delivery options like ‘Home Delivery’ and ‘Click and Collect’ on its website and app along with easy payment option of Coles Mobile Wallet.


What is ROPO?

One of the consumer behaviour pattern that is leading to the adoption of omnichannel strategy is Research Online, Purchase Offline (ROPO). You search for shoes online, get all the specifics, shut your laptop, head to the store, pick up those exact shoes, try them on, you like them and the sale is made ! How many of us do that because we still don’t trust the internet quite yet?

In Australia, according to NAB Online Retail Sales Index, $16.6 billion were spent online in the year 2014 up to January 2015. This showed that Australian online market is on the rise.

(Source: Deloitte Digital, 2015)

This is relative to the 3 stages of making a purchase:

(Source: Topic 3, Consumer Behaviour, Marketing Management, Deakin University)

According to Deloitte Digital’s report Navigating the New Digital Divide – Digital Influence in Australian retail 2015, there is a 40% digital influence on in-store retail visits in Australia, where 93% of total retail sales account to in-store purchases. Even with those alarming figures, retailers that underestimate this digital stimulus are going to face the brunt or are already on the verge of it, they just don’t know it yet!

Watch Deloitte Digital Video 

Cracked the code yet?

With such advent of shift in consumer behaviour, you would think the biggest of brands by now must have cracked this code, right? Actually, that is apparently not the case!

According to a Sanford C. Bernstein report, top five sellers in manual toothbrushes in USA are very different at online retail giant compared to store-based retail. The report is based on July 25, 2015 sales at and four weeks ended June 7, 2015 data from Neilsen. It showed that the traditional big brands like Colgate and Procter & Gamble Co.’s Oral-B products were not in the Top 5. It was the niche Radius Totz and Dr. Collins Perio toothbrushes that achieved the honour. However, Colgate and P&G’s Oral-B reigned the physical retail stores.

“E-commerce seems to be democratizing ‘shelf space’ as top brands do not dominate the e-commerce channel as much as they dominate brick-and-mortar retail,” the Bernstein report said.

This clearly shows how differently consumers behave when it comes to online shopping vs physical shopping and so efforts are still required to analyze the big data which is collected every time you click on an ad or swipe your card in-store.


Aakash Mehta: 214176608

References (2015). Fast-Rising E-Commerce Could Jolt Package-Goods Giants. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016].

Business Research and Insights. (2015). Online Retail Sales Index: In depth report – January 2015 – Business Research and Insights. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2016]. (2015). Forbes Welcome. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016].

YouTube. (2016). Defining Retail Omnichannel. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016].

Geektime. (2014). Infographic: Online Consumer Behaviour And E-Commerce Sales. [online] Available at: [Accessed 1 Apr. 2016].

Harvard Business Review. (2014). E-Commerce Is Not Eating Retail. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2016]. (2015). report Navigating the New Digital Divide – Digital Influence in Australian retail 2015,. [online] Available at: [Accessed 31 Mar. 2016]. (2015). Retail Vs. E-Commerce Trends: A Match Made In Heaven. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Mar. 2016].



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