Are you a start-up with a growing portfolio of physical stores? If you don’t yet have a store locator platform, now is the time to get one. A store locator bridges the online and offline worlds, helping today’s customer easily find and locate your shops, all from the comfort of their smartphone or desktop. Here are five reasons your website needs a store locator.
Customers act on mobile search
Today’s device of choice for local searches is the smartphone. What’s more, customers tend to act on that search. Marketing platform BRIDGE notes how 88 per cent of all mobile searchers physically visit a store they have searched for online. So a store locator acts not only as a point of information for would-be customers, it helps to get them through the doors, too.
Improved search ranking
A well-optimised store locator (one that has local SEO and local content for each store) also acts as a powerful tool in the race to enjoy better search rankings and improved visibility. Populate each of your stores’ store locator results page with local keywords and it will start ranking.
Rich local content
A store locator can be a lot more than a list of pages detailing store opening times and contact details. It can act as a content hub for each of your stores, offering customers specific information, local content and news. Use it as a way to give customers an incentive to shop – a 10 per cent discount, say, or entry into a prize draw. Content breathes life into a store locator platform, making it a rich resource your customers can get value from.
Focus time on other resources
If you don’t have a store locator but have a lot of stores, you will no doubt find that a lot of your team’s time is spent fielding calls and dealing with emails about what time your store in Oklahoma opens, whether your store in New Jersey will be opening late for Christmas, that kind of thing. Answers to all these queries and more can be provided on a store locator results page, freeing up your staff and saving hours in customer service time.
Manage – and simplify – your growth
If you need a store locator, that in itself is a sign that you’re growing as a company. As you continue to grow, your store locator will help you streamline and manage the roll-out of new stores, as you’ll easily be able to create new store locator pages each time you open a new shop. All your stores and all their associated details will be centrally managed, saving you yet more time and money.
Best practice examples
What makes a store locator great? Check out this list of the top five store locator platforms – from a chain of chicken restaurants to a haircare brand – put together by the experts at BRIDGE.