If your customers don’t know where your stores are, how do you expect them to find you? And if your customers can’t find which products you sell, how do you expect them to be able to buy them? 88% of mobile searchers now visit a physical store after they have searched for one, so investing in store locator software with a built-in product finder has become a business essential in the digital age.
Benefits of a store locator
Store locators connect the online world with the offline one. Brick-and-mortar retail has been revitalized by digital technology - far from signalling its death knell, tools like store locator platforms and strategies like local search have helped rapidly connect online consumers with physical shops, bringing myriad benefits in the process.
If you are a large brand with a large portfolio of stores, investing in store locator software provides a single point of contact for customers to find and navigate to one of your stores. What’s more, it’s a way to give customers useful information (opening times, for example) and to incentivize them - with news about discounts, special offers and in-store events.
A store locator widget helps you:
- Increase footfall - give your customers the information you need to find your stores easily and the rest will follow. Store locators vastly increase your online visibility - leading to a spike in footfall offline.
- Build a strong local search presence - store locators can be used as part of a local SEO strategy. Peppering your store locator results pages with local keywords and search phrases helps you compete in online search.
- Focus your resources better - the information store locators offer your customers means you don’t have to employ staff to answer general queries about opening times. This can be published online instead, freeing up your employee to work on other projects and servicing customers who are already in-store.
Take a look at our pick of five of the best examples of store locators in action.
Why do you need a product locator?
Alongside a store locator, consider pulling in some product locator software. This could be linked up to and coexist with your store locator, or it could be hosted separately. However, merging a product finder with a store locator is likely the best option - it means customers would be able to search for products online and then see which of the stores in their area has them in stock.
Product finders are crucial, especially if you sell a variety of products, regularly change the number of products you offer or specialize in a really niche industry.
Product locator software helps you:
- Give your customers accurate product information - as you’ve probably experienced yourself, it can be a frustrating task when trying to sort through hundreds and hundreds of products to find exactly what you want. A product finder gives your customers accurate, up-to-the-minute information.
- Serve certain industries - sectors like construction and engineering often use product serial codes, rather than brand names, when then search for and buy products. So a product locator would help such customers quickly and easily find exactly what they’re looking for.
- Encourage people to buy online or reserve and pick up in-store - a product finder means a customer can search for a product online, pay for it and arrange to pick it up in one of your stores through channels like click-and-collect.
Whether you are a small business with a handful of products that changes every few weeks, or a large company with quick moving inventory, store locator and product finder software are becoming essential to communicating with consumers and bridging the online to offline experience.