Every online store owner wants to achieve maximum conversions. For this to happen, the store must be highly optimized and provide consumers with good shopping experience. According to a survey conducted by MineWhat.com, 81% of online shoppers research products before they make a purchase. On average, a consumer visits at least 3 different stores before making a purchase. Often times, customers don’t get products they are looking for in a particular store. Such customers should be redirected to their nearest store having their desired products. A multi-location business often faces the problem of providing their customers the ability to let them know about their nearest physical store. Magento store locator makes it easy for a multi-location business to get their local stores found, hence drive traffic to their stores, and ultimately increase conversions.
If you are selling products or offering services not only online, but also maintaining a list of physical stores, it is a good idea to add some kind of functionality to your online store which could help your potential customers find all your stores. This solution offers many benefits including less queries, more exposure and more traffic. The main target is to help customers find and get to the nearest store. Usually, companies that provide such functionality contain a link showing that it has also got brick-and-mortar stores. Such links are placed at a visible place to help customers to find all the stores the company run and may contain their desired products. These links go by different names such as “Our Stores”, “Find a store”, “Store Locator”.
Different Ways to Implement Store Location Functionality
1. CMS Page:
The easiest way to let your customers know about the location of all your online stores is to develop a regular CMS page with store names, addresses, images, store hours and other useful information as shown below. You can incorporate a few physical stores also. However, the more physical stores you add, the more difficult it will be to organize important information.
2. Create a General Location Page:
A more advanced way of displaying your physical store location is to create a general location page linked to each store individual landing page. This is more user and SEO friendly as you can create separate URL’s and enter keywords and other Meta information for each location. This strategy is shown in the example below.
3. Use Store Locator Extension:
Although CMS pages offer some advantages, but it gets challenging if you have hundreds of physical stores. The most convenient option is to use Store locator. It is used to allow customers to see the location of your stores on Google Maps. They can find the nearest store to their current location and plan the best route.
Google Maps Magento Store Locator Extension by FME offers many features such as suggesting nearest physical stores and giving directions. A more exciting feature is the ability to display a list of physical stores on Google Map along with contact details. Customers can search stores by products and address.
Advantages of Store Locator:
Store locator offers numerous useful advantages including but not limited to the following:
With Customer’s Perspective:
- Search by distance
- Search by country, state or zip
- Filter by category
- Display address, contact details, store hours & days etc.
- View the list of all stores on Google Map
- Display detailed directions on the map
- Contact the store after selecting it
From Administrator’s Perspective:
- Import multiple stores in CSV file
- Upload custom marker icons to show locations on the map
- Enable/disable zoom and the map type change (satellite or map view)
- Specify how to display search results for store locations (by title, position, distance)
A Good Example of Magento Store locator
Retailers should optimize their store locators such that it displays all or most of the informational components that users might be interested to look for. For example, consumers might want to know what days the store is closed or what is the opening time of the store. Imagine a customer visiting your store only to find out the store is closed on that particular day. Below is the example of store locator which displays the store’s address and contact details, attributes labels, search fields, store locations markup on google map etc.
Some Suggestions for Using Store Locator
If you want to know where to start and what are the key things to take care of, following are some of the suggestions.
Make a list of all cities where you do business.
- Make a comprehensive list of all the information you want to display. Make it easy for customers to decide which store to visit
- All the displayed store information must be compliant with the local law
- Use self-explanatory words for links to your store locator page such as “Our stores”, “Store-locator”
- Include only those countries where your online stores are already located instead of forcing customers to search all the countries
- Make sure your store locator page is optimized for handheld devices
Using store locator extension for brick-and-mortar stores is not only important but also necessary. Without an optimized Magento store locator, you get lower conversions and lower customer satisfaction while diminishing the value of your brand and losing on potential customers. You also significantly reduce the market opportunity for each store/office location or dealership. When you optimize your store locator for traffic and conversions, potential customers will get to know about their nearest store and can reach you through the directions and Google map address given on the landing page.