Store locators are a terrific way to get people to your door. For our client, motorcycle manufacturer Ducati, the use of store locators has resulted in a 50% online to offline conversion rate across all of its dealerships in France after a somewhat haphazard conversion rate before they used BRIDGE. How do store locators work? And why are they so effective?
How store locators work
Store locator services are mini search engines that sit on your website for customers to use in order to find your nearest location. The idea behind offering store locators is that when a customer knows your location and how to contact you, that customer is more likely to pay you a visit.
Most smartphones have GPS systems and use elements such as their WiFi network to identify their exact position. When a mobile device's location services are switched on, the store location tool can identify where the customer is and show that customer the store closest to them.
In some cases the customer may prefer to search for a location manually, or they may be traveling to a different city or country. For example, they may need to visit a camera shop while on vacation and want to locate one before they reach their destination. In this case, the customer enters the zip code of the place they're going to and the search results will list all the stores nearby.
Opening times and contact details
Many people use store locators to find essential information such as store hours, contact details, the address and even parking options. Your store locator system displays these details in addition to showing where your store is located on a map.
As part of the search, the store locator can help narrow down where the customer might need to go. If you are a convenience store chain that features gas stations at many but not all of your locations, showing which of your stores nearest them offers a gas station helps the customer decide where to go.
A store locator platform means you can have a dedicated page for each of your stores. This associates your brand with a location, city and product or service on the web, helping boost your brand's search engine rankings for that location. It also gives you an opportunity, through local pages, to offer localized content relevant for each of your store locations, such as in-store offers, sales and promotional events. Ducati has benefited from having locally focused pages, for example, when someone wants to find a motorcycle dealership in a particular town.
A whopping 60% of all searches are now being done on a cell phone or tablet these days. So in order to boost your SEO rankings, your site must boast responsive mobile optimization. If you want customers to easily find your stores online, order and pay for products quickly and physically visit your shops, your site must be optimized for cellular devices and tablets as well as the most popular desktop browsers. When your site is optimized for cellular and tablet devices, it can assess what operating system is being used, screen size and orientation, and tailor what appears on the screen to each particular device.
Store locator takeaway
As a whole, the store locator system is a search engine that helps improve local SEO via set pages visible to search engines that help you capture your customer. Store locator systems are a proven way to create online to offline conversions and can significantly improve your customer footfall numbers as a result. Remember, you can also use store locator pages as a way to raise awareness of your products and market to more people— populate them with call-to-actions or use them as a way to get customer emails to help drive conversions.
The BRIDGE store locator platform is optimized for mobile devices and presents a solution to help people find you more quickly and easily using their phones. Find out more about our store locator product.
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