Store Locator plugins
Shopping patterns have drastically changed in the recent decade and especially during the pandemic. Again, let’s take the example of the year 2020.
Companies with retail stores took a massive hit in sales and revenue because Covide-19 confined people to their homes and the only option people had was online shopping.
Retail stores that did not focus on building an online store were left at the mercy of the vaccination that did not arrive until the end of the year.
Those who adapted to creating an online store survived but now, with people coming out to shop again, are finding difficulty in locating businesses and stores that relocated to a different address.
Even before the pandemic, people preferred buying offline as discovered in a study that states, “75% of shoppers conduct their own web research before visiting a physical store.”
When clients are compelled to buy something, you know that time is of the essence. Store locator widgets are a terrific method to show customers up-to-date and relevant information about your business locations.
Why use store Locator plugins? What are their advantages and disadvantages?
A store locator plugin allows users to quickly find a physical point of sale that is part of a retail network.
Whether at the level of a city, a region, a country, or even the whole world, this module is often used by the consumer to locate the store closest to him.
By taking advantage of geolocation (in particular via a mobile connection), it can automatically locate the shops located in the geographical area of the Internet user.
It can also be used manually by the customer, who will enter their city or postal code into a search bar to locate a point of sale.
In addition, this device is often associated with a map, allowing the Internet user to view the location of the point of sale directly and even create a route to get there.
1) Generate In-Store Traffic In A Web To Store Logic
Bringing a customer from the web to a physical point of sale is the whole principle called “drive to store”.
A major challenge for brands as they must reconcile their brand, present on a national or international scale, with the activity of each affiliated point of sale.
However, it can be disturbing for a consumer to find himself on the site of a group bringing hundreds of stores together.
The store locator is the perfect way to highlight the local aspect. A potential customer can easily locate the store closest to them.
An effective way to generate traffic at the point of sale, and therefore to increase the turnover of each store.
2) Create A Close Relationship With Your Customers
Another added value of the store locator is that it humanizes the brand and generates a close relationship with customers.
Indeed, everything is based on the personalization of the user’s experience. This feature allows you, first of all, to offer him a store near his home, but also to provide him with practical information on the POS:
- Store address, phone number, and other contact information.
- Access plan or route on a map.
- Opening hours.
By offering tailor-made content, depending on the customer’s location, we can bridge the gap between online and offline.
The presence of a physical point of sale nearby is an important element of reassurance, encouraging the Internet user to go to the store.
3) Improve Your Local SEO
Local SEO is an essential tool to increase the visibility of a point of sale in its catchment area and it turns out that the implementation of a store locator has beneficial effects on SEO!
For example, publishing web pages dedicated to each store will make it much easier to reference them on local searches such as “[brand name] Orléans”.
Creating Google business listings specific to each point of sale is also essential. Thanks to them, Internet users will access key information about the store that interests them directly from the search results: contact details, opening hours, etc.
4) Adopt A Responsive Design
The web to store is evolving more and more towards the “mobile to store”. Indeed, the democratization of smartphones has been a small revolution, particularly to integrated geolocation.
This feature is fast, accurate, and ergonomic. It allows today’s consumers to find what they need nearby in the blink of an eye.
A good store locator must absolutely take advantage of mobile phones in this context. The sheets dedicated to each store, in particular, must be completely accessible from this medium: this is known as responsive design.Loading speed is also a crucial factor.
In addition, the mobile compatibility of a site has an overall impact on its natural referencing. So don’t neglect the “mobile-friendly” aspect if you want to take advantage of the location of your points of sale!
5) Integrate An Interactive Map
Giving the best possible experience to the Internet user, giving him the coordinates of the nearest store is not enough. The integration of an interactive map is a real must!
By exploiting Google Maps, for example, it is possible to display the point of sale location instantly. Better still: the Internet user can create a route to get there in a few seconds! a real plus for attracting in-store traffic.
Increase in-store traffic, improvement of local referencing, proximity to customers. The store locator is not lacking in assets for retail networks wishing to develop the visibility of their establishments.
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But the success of such a feature relies on compliance with a certain number of good practices, such as creating a page dedicated to each point of sale or even optimizing for mobile devices. From now on, you have all the keys to capturing new customers at the local level!
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