Some shoppers research products on Amazon, but buy them at a brick-and-mortar store. This blurring between online and traditional retail is known as the ROPO effect (Research Online, Purchase Offline). In fact, the web is expected to influence an estimated $1.4 billion in traditional retail sales in 2014, according to Forrester.
In order to satisfy this demand for product information, companies are adding enhanced content to their product pages. Different retailers refer to these enhanced pages by different names. Amazon calls it A+ content. Walmart refers to it as Expanded Manufacturer Content. Target calls it Third Party Content. Whatever the name, this enhanced content expands on the standard product description by offering pictures, an info box, comparison charts, and more.
This infographic (courtesy of content26) looks at why enhanced content is a crucial part of both online research and offline sales.
- Shoppers turn to Amazon for product information, with 85% using the site at some point during their search.
- Two of three online shoppers have abandoned a sale due to limited product information.
- 89% of shoppers research products online before buying them in a store.