Is your retail store stuck in the 1980’s? If you’re not currently utilizing your store locator as a tool for driving sales, the simple answer is—yes. If we were to take a guess, chances are your store locator is one of the highest drivers of traffic to your site. With potentially thousands of visitors searching for your store each day, why not capitalize on turning general browsers into paying customers?
Here’s exactly how to convert site visitors through a modern, multi-experience store locator journey:
What is a Store Locator?
For those wondering what exactly IS a store locator, it’s an online tool that offers an interactive map for locating—you guessed it—store locations. This allows potential customers to easily locate the store closest to them. When creating a store locator, locations are geocoded on a map and displayed as a pin. Geocoding is the process of translating a description of a location, like an address or pair of coordinates, to a location on Earth’s surface. There are multiple platforms that can be used to display the information, though Google Maps is the most popular.
Why Turn Your Store Locator Into a Multi-Experience Journey?
In the face of COVID-19, shoppers turned towards online retail like never before. The question ringing in everyone’s ears, ‘do we even need in-store retail anymore?’ From ordering your takeout on UberEats, to no longer shopping for your own groceries thanks to Instacart—there is truly an app for everything. Now, brick-and-mortar stores are all facing the same challenge—how to stay relevant.
Gen Z and Millennials are two particular generations that demand a seamless in-store and digital shopping experience. 68 percent of Millennials require the convenience of omnichannel accessibility during their shopping journey, which means having an integrated experience that can effortlessly transition their consumer data from their smartphone, to laptop, to local store, and back again. Currently, the store locator page does not offer an optimal experience for omnichannel shoppers—disconnecting the journey between wanting to make a purchase and offering limited ways to contact an associate (i.e. phone or email).
Here are some of the key problems retailers continue to face in an ever-changing retail environment:
- How to drive in-store traffic
- How to attract new customers online
- How to convert existing customers into return customers
- How to increase brand awareness and target new demographics
The store locator Page is a digital tool that can be used to make the shopping experience both interactive and seamless
How to Implement a Multi-Experience Store Locator Page
Thankfully, there are plenty of tools available to help you instantly transform your store locator page into a multi-experience journey. From live chat with store associates, to booking a virtual appointment, to text messaging assistance—there are countless ways to provide touchpoint experiences that address each customer's roadblock. Here are a few to consider:
Customers with specific questions often have an intent to buy. You can easily address any lingering doubts by adding a live chat feature to your store locator page. By implementing this feature, customers can ask questions on sizing, colour, fit and stock—without ever having to pick up the phone. Live chat also allows for instant answers from real store associates—the people who know the product best. By adding a live chat widget directly to your store locator page, you remove the barrier to purchase and instead of abruptly ending the buyer journey, you can easily bring it to completion.
Much like the live chat feature, video chat provides an additional customer touchpoint that can help bring a sale to completion. Consider adding both options to your store locator page, so customers have multiple options to chat with an associate, based on their preference. Offering video chat can provide an even easier way to address customer questions, particularly regarding in-store stock options, and product fit. Better yet, it also allows customers to easily build a relationship with in-store associates due to the one-on-one personalized touch that video chat offers.
Another popular multi-experience tool to consider is text messaging integration. Text messaging allows potential customers to easily chat with sales associates in real time—a particularly popular option among Millennials and Gen Z. This not only allows for quick and seamless interactions, but it also allows for future communication on sales, personalized product recommendations and in-store promotions. While email promotions can sit unopened in inboxes for weeks (if ever), 99% of SMS marketing campaigns are read, making SMS an extremely effective marketing channel for both new and existing customers.
Virtual and In-Store Appointments
Take things one step further and offer the convenience of scheduled appointments in-store, or via video calling. Adding an appointment tool to your store locator page allows customers to instantly book with their favourite stylist, or make arrangements in advance to shop for a specific occasion (bridal shower, vacation, etc). To reduce the chances of a cancelled appointment, virtual and in-store appointment tools can communicate directly with the customer, keeping them updated on upcoming appointments via text or email. A win-win for everyone!
By taking the time to think of multi-experience tools that can enhance the overall buyer's journey—you'll be well on your way to beating out the competition. While this particular journey applies to your store locator page, there are plenty of ways to make any traffic driver to your site into a multi-experience journey. With the help of interactive tools, you can easily provide a seamless customer experience, and entice them to return time and time again.
With Salesfloor, you can enable online customers to connect with a local store associate in real-time directly from any page on your e-commerce site (like your store locator page). With our advanced virtual selling tools, online shoppers can initiate conversations through video, live chat, email or text messaging—while smart routing ensures customers connect with local stores. Learn more by booking a demo today.