Americans are increasingly shopping online but even more, they’re using the web as a tool for product and service discovery, comparison shopping, and finding the most convenient answers to their needs.
Make no mistake, traditional retail will remain strong in 2017. Amazon knows – the online retail giant is doubling down on brick and mortar with plans to expand its offline stores next year.
Are your locations in position for a successful and prosperous 2017? Make these resolutions a part of your preparations.
1. Keep it local.
“Today’s customers reward or punish companies based on a single experience — a single moment in time,” Forrester Research notes in its 2017 Predictions report. “This behavior was once a Millennial trademark, but it’s now in play for older generations. It has become normal.”
Keep your customers local by getting in front of them in the moments that matter, providing the information and experiences they need to make the decision to shop with you. Make sure your location data is updated and remains up-to-date in Google.
2. Keep it mobile.
In 2015, more than 50% of shoppers said they were open to purchasing from new retailers and that’s especially true online, Google says. It’s just too easy for consumers to explore an abundance of options in search. In fact, the search giant says that after searching on Google, 76% of mobile shoppers have changed their mind about which retailer or brand to purchase from.
3. Take control of location data in one centralized platform.
Using an open local platform with a suite of proven local marketing products designed to work together seamlessly enables you to control otherwise disparate location data from a single platform. Instead of spending your time trying to piece together a stack of unrelated products, you can focus on creating the local experiences your customers crave.
4. Bridge online to offline.
Omnichannel is more than a persistent marketing buzzword; it’s the way in which all channels work together in supporting a merged experience. Search, social, the company website, local listings, consumer reviews, directories, search engine marketing, and traditional media may each have a role to play in influencing the consumer’s decision.
Kohl’s recent omnichannel World Series champion’s campaign is a great example of a retailer integrating various channels and using them to support one another. This location page for a Chicago store is supported by integrated Instagram content, localized offers, Search Near You, relevant business location information directions, and other elements to make the experience relevant to a local consumer.
5. Localize to personalize.
Localization is the ultimate personalization. Consumers are using search more than ever to find nearby answers to their immediate needs and questions. In fact, “Near Me” searches have doubled since 2015, and more than 50% of searches have local intent.
In 2017, content localization needs to be a major part of your marketing strategy. People want easy access to key information about your business, but they also want to know what other people think about it. They want to see pictures of your location, understand the atmosphere and products you offer, and determine why they should trust your company and your people.
Are your location pages answering those questions or -driving them right into your competitors hands?
6. Simplify to succeed.
Activate your data by taking the “suite approach” to local and putting your insights to work within a single, comprehensive dashboard. Drive tangible, measurable results with seamlessly integrated tools empowering local managers across your brand to extend their reach and win more business, all while keeping within your brand controls.
For more information and to see how your locations are doing, click here for a free local search audit.
Karisa Macias has extensive expertise in local search, digital marketing, and technology.