People are still using store locators despite the existence of Google Maps and business and food directory apps.
That’s right—contrary to popular belief, customers still prefer your website for online information. In fact, having a store locator on your website is more than essential for any business for various reasons. And integrating it into an omnichannel yields positive results. Indeed, around 75% of customers make their own online research before heading out to a physical store. As you know when customers are driven to buy something, time is of the essence. Store locators are a great way to provide updated, relevant information to customers instantly. And to this day, store locators can become more than an address book.
Omnichannels Should Have a Store Locator
Despite the existence of external tools, potential customers turn to website pages to confirm your business details because they perceive it as trustworthy initially. The towering amount of search results from Google still has a reputation of being erroneous, and so these customers turn to your websites. Indeed, online information often drives customers to your physical stores. It’s a common myth that online search results lead only to e-commerce sites and online shopping carts. Online information includes business hours, holidays, location, product and service listings, and local amenities (like location-based pre-order bonuses). That’s why it’s important to update this information. Although your customers may not always rely on your pages, when they do, they often define trust.
Business Omnichannels Should Have an Integrated Store Locator
It’s no strange thing to have a website, a mobile page, and a mobile app. Businesses nowadays often thrive through omnichannel and Nielsen reports prove success in having them. An estimated of 3million people use smartphones globally and 70% of those use store locators. Often, most of these customers check store locators when commuting—meaning on the go. Consequently, it is vital that these customers get answers fast, and a network for your omnichannel will make that both easy for you and your customers.
Other still use store locators on tablets and computers while at home. They prefer them when they check prices and reviews, review products lists, write their own reviews. But when it comes to using store locators, smartphones take the cake with smartphone use leading against tablet.
The Business Benefits of a Store Locator
Having a store locator is not just adding another page reference for your customers. In many ways, it indirectly affects your branding, customer loyalty, and overall revenue. While a store locator can appear differently for many businesses, here’s how they can help you and your customers.
It makes you more searchable
Customers would often search for local store locations online. In fact, this is one of the most common searches on Google. In addition, having business details like your name, phone number, and address allow your customers the prerogative to engage with your business however they choose. But having store locators enriches your content even more. The key for searchability is having essential content. And more content means more customers. Thus, a store locator surely upscales your business searchability.
It saves time and money for both your and the customer
Products lists allow customers to canvas for their desired price range of products. This is a time-efficient habit that customers employ when shopping. However, price ranges, sale offers, and store bonuses may differ from one store to another. Yet a store locator can solve that problem easily. By having a page dedicated to store locations, and linking them to their local pages or local numbers, your website saves time for both your business and your customers. In fact, this extended amount of convenience solidifies customer loyalty.
Store locators can also help customers find out if the item they want is available in their local store—again, saving time for your customers. It’s much better than having no choice but to go there, only to find out the items isn’t available.
It increases trust and overall branding
A store locator makes everything convenient for your customer. And by providing them with digital presence and personal convenience, your customers get the answers they are looking for anytime, anywhere. Online shopping then becomes extra convenient for your customers as they can check local store inventory items 24/7. This builds trust and good branding for your shoppers and would make them more loyal to you, inciting more trust in your business.
It makes your website more important
Google, Youtube, and all the other search engines make information more available than ever. In addition, social media imposes more accessibility for all types of customers—especially to those who aren’t necessarily tech savvy. But generally, store locators add something to your website that others can’t: value. Your website becomes an online storefront, but a store locator directly gives them what they want and need. Your website becomes the go-to place of information for customers before anything else.
It optimizes your physical store functions
Physical stores can accommodate only so much customers. With the possibility of multiple queries and fast inventory updates, a store locator can help physical stores provide service better by starting online. Reservations for items can be made online before coming into stores. Item availability like color, size, and quantity can be made through store locators and if not, the availability of calling local numbers is right up on the same page. These two business channels would work in harmony often relying on each other for business transactions. Optimization, indeed.
It allows market research for your business
Just like any other marketing tool, customer data can be gathered from store locators. When customers use your store locator, the system can log customer activity which you can analyze to figure out store locator trends and common customer needs. You can gather information they used if applicable like promo codes, zip codes and track the date and time of their visits. These data can be used to optimize the best time and place to launch your campaigns, and overall improve your customer service.
It centralizes your business
Having a store locator would require a centralized data. This can be done by placing data on a spreadsheet and all your store locations can be managed easily using the store locator. Utilizing this feature supports your retail stores, especially if you have more than a few people could manage. Data management can be secured easily from one location, and can be managed from there on.
Keep Your Store Locator Feature Updated
Your store locator will deliver its promise when you update your information. If not, then you’re wasting a valuable asset that would boost your business. The symbiotic relationship of your online presence and offline stores are so essential that it shouldn’t be taken for granted. Store locators, once set, become a passive marketing tool that strengthens your overall omnichannel. Most successful stores have it (and are famous for it). There’s no reason why you shouldn’t either.
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