Those of you who have used store locators before will have probably noticed that not every store locator platform is as useful as the next. While some of this comes down to the particular platform the retailer has chosen, even the best store locator software may not meet the needs of consumers if the available functionality has not been used correctly.
In this post, we’re going to explain the process of adding a store locator to your website and Facebook page. This includes the technological requirements, the user experience considerations and the content we can customize. The good news is, at BRIDGE, we take care of all the technical and design work for you, creating a beautiful store locator for your website that meets the specific needs of your customers.
Adding the store locator
At BRIDGE, you can add a store locator to multiple channels so customers can find your locations whether they are on your website, mobile site or Facebook page. The seamless interaction on your website will create an optimal experience for all customers on desktop, tablet and mobile devices.
The store locator is set up on a subdomain on your main website. We then host that subdomain on our server and customize your store locator using the following process:
- Project Kick-Off: We meet with you to discuss the objectives of the store locator and your specific needs.
- Database and Content Collection: You provide the location data and content to be integrated into the store locator.
- Integration: We integrate the data and create the customized solution.
- Review: You review the store locator and come back to us with any feedback.
- Changes: We implement the changes to the store locator as a result of your review.
- Go-Live: The subdomain with the store locator go live, and the widget and any links are then added to your website.
Our technical experts are on hand to provide you with recommendations throughout the process to ensure your store locator meets best practices.
You’ll need to create a subdomain to host the store locator and if applicable we also recommend upgrading your HTTP site HTTPS to ensure security for your online visitors, and to improve SEO. Once you’ve done this, the subdomain is then reliably hosted on our servers with more than 99.99% uptime. And if you encounter any problems, our support team is always on hand to help.
One of the primary benefits of the BRIDGE Store Locator platform is that we do all the work on your behalf so you can concentrate on running your business.
Adding your locations
The locations of your stores can be imported through a CSV or XLS file which we receive from you during the ‘database and content collection’ part of the process. We then integrate that information into the platform and set up the locations on your behalf. Once the store locator is live, you can then integrate additional locations through a CSV file or by adding them manually.
To improve local SEO, we ensure that each store location is included in the URL structure of each local page, and use H1 headings for store names.
Customizing your store locator
The best store locator software gives you a wide range of customization options so you can meet the specific needs of your customers. At BRIDGE, you can add filters that allow customers to sort location results by products and services offered.
As well as determining exactly what information is shown to customers, you can also customize almost every aspect of the way your locator looks through the use of industry-proven templates. You can then add your own branding and select the text, font, colours and even the type of map markers you want to use.
The final step is to add your own call to action buttons to boost online conversions. You can integrate quote request forms, contact forms, appointment booking facilities, table reservations, online chat, virtual visits, video and social to turn online browsers into offline customers.
One of the most effective ways to improve the customer experience is to add content that’s specific to each store. At BRIDGE, you can post news, events and offers for each store to make your locator a powerful tool for engaging customers and driving traffic to those stores. There are also significant SEO benefits, with each location having its own unique description which can be optimized to improve visibility on the search engine results pages.
Ready to take the next step?
At BRIDGE, we make adding a store locator to your website easy. We handle the process from ‘kick-off’ to ‘go-live’, creating a customized, intuitive asset that integrates seamlessly on your website. To see how it works, schedule your demo today.
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