The Value of a Store Locator: A Crucial Source of Leads
As more shoppers are launching their journey with their devices–yet still have the desire to go in-person to a store–a store locator is a perfect opportunity to convert visitors to offline customers.
There’s never been a better time to equip your company’s online presence with a powerful store locator–especially one that can track conversions. (More on that in a moment.) The data agrees. As you look at recent shopping trends, you will see how important it is to:
- Have a powerful store locator that will become a steady source of leads
- Use a store locator that can track visitor actions and break down the data in a simple way, which can help you strategize more effectively as the busy holiday shopping season progresses
A brief look at some of 2018’s exciting holiday consumer trends will provide some interesting context.
Why Store Locators Are More Relevant Than Ever: Generation Z’s Unique Blend of Mobile-First and In-Store
Consumer trend researchers are predicting a phenomenal 2018 shopping season during the upcoming holidays, as OpenX and The Harris Poll’s 2018 report notes:
- The majority of consumers believe the economy is performing better today than one year ago.
- 75 percent of consumers expect the economy to improve over the next year.
- 80 percent of consumers who participated in the study say they are planning to spend the same amount of money or more this year than they did last year.
Store locators will play an important role in this increased shopping activity. Consumers rely on their mobile devices more than ever, yet there has been a surprisingly strong demand among the latest generation of consumers–Generation Z–for a brick-and-mortar shopping experience in addition to online shopping.
When you’re talking about a generation of consumers who rely heavily on their mobile devices but who still love the in-person shopping experience, this means an increased demand for easy-to-use, on-the-go store locators.
That’s not to say that Gen Zers don’t use their mobile devices. More than any previous generation, their mobile devices have become a part of them.
As this recent report from Store.org notes, 75 percent of Gen Zers use a mobile device five hours a day.
Digital Preferences But Traditional Shoppers?
However, as this Mobile Marketer report notes: “Despite their digital preferences, members of Generation Z are also more traditional shoppers, embracing the in-store experience as a form of not only education but entertainment.”
This means you have a new generation of shoppers who expect a state-of-the-art store locator ready at their fingertips the moment they want to do some brick-and-mortar shopping for the holidays. There will likely be more shoppers using store locators than ever before.
And it’s not just to give shoppers directions. The store locator is the first immersive contact the consumer can have with your brand as they begin to plan their shopping day, and for this reason, a store locator will often bring a steady flow o leads not only to your stores but to your online locations.
As the Local Search Association notes, using data from a visitor’s interaction with a store locator can give marketers real-time context for providing relevant outreach through ads or strategically placed links and messages in the store locator itself. For example, visitors looking for the nearest store suddenly find themselves clicking on a relevant link to learn more about your latest in-store (or online) promotion or signing up for your email list to get an incentive.
In addition, a store locator builds brand awareness and improves your website’s performance in search rankings, which will yield more leads.
Not only that but there is the added benefit of improving search rankings and increasing brand awareness. To accomplish this, your store locator should be as information-rich as possible. Anything that streamlines the customer’s shopping experience and knowledge about your products and store is fair game for including in your store locator. If it functions as a helpful information booth, it will produce more leads both online and offline.
Your store locator should include:
- Links to individual store resources
- Complete NAP information (Name, Address and Phone) Phone number
- Local email addresses
- Attractive imagery that draws visitors to your store, but also useful and thorough imagery that gives them as much helpful visual information about your store as possible.
- A responsive, mobile-friendly design
- Integration with powerful map software so customers can know exactly where the store is and how to get there
- Well-written, descriptive (but brief) copy that gives the customer helpful information about the stores, its products, and any promotions you want them to know about (that can be presented concisely and read on-the-go)
But most importantly–at least in terms of marketing strategy–your store locator should be able to track conversions.
A Store Locator That Tracks Leads and Conversions
Not many marketers have been able to answer this question: “How many conversions has your store locator generated?”
That is changing, thankfully.
Store locators that can track conversions (such as MetaLocator–more on that in a moment) are hitting the market, and they are making a big difference. Through this technology, you can gather store locator analytics and examine multiple dimensions of data:
- Visitor’s actions such as the number of searches, visits, click heat maps, etc.
- Data related to location, such as the number of clicks on a particular store location or number of searches that included a particular location
- Conversion clicks such as clicking on a specific link or email address or clicking to get directions to go to the store or clicking to call the store
- Product-level analytics for product finders used when customers want to filter the stores by which products are in stock
Conversion tracking is crucial because it helps you measure the effectiveness of your digital marketing. It helps you develop a strategy based on real-time actions by your customers.
How MetaLocator Ensures These Critical Store Locator Features Are in Place
MetaLocator is a powerful store locator designed to track conversations and organize the data in an easy-to-read display. For example, some of the things it can track include:
- Calls to your locations
- SMS text messages
- “Send to Phone” and “Get Directions” clicks
- Referrals from search engines
- Clicks on links within the store locator
It is designed for ease of use. You can create a store locator for your website in just a few minutes. There’s no code for you to write, and it works with any website. In addition, it is cloud-managed and global, works in all countries and languages, mobile-friendly and responsive, is fully indexable by search engines, and has over 300 features.
There’s really no store locator like it.
If this has sparked your interest, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial to make sure it works for you before you make any commitments. Feel free to contact us for more information on MetaLocator or to learn more tips on using store locators more effectively.