Why ‘basic’ location marketing is crucial for physical retail

Today’s world of consumerism is dominated by e-commerce; it’s convenient, quick, generally cheaper, and rich for choice— this year, it’s estimated 25 percent of the world’s population will be shopping online and as shoppers increasingly go digital. It’s official: Small businesses that embrace tech grow faster Of course, as more shoppers go online, a vacuum is being created on the street, and it’s no surprise that physical retailers are under pressure to make ends meet. For the more tech-savvy, monied bricks-and-mortar retailers, innovation and experimentation are leading to the rise of ‘experiential’ retail , emphasizing the unique and tangible value of physical shopping. While this may be creating a new level of ‘wow-factor’, never has it been more important for offline retailers to ensure they’re getting the basics right. Location marketing In this respect, offering a low-cost and effective solution, location marketing should be the first step to ensuring your business remains in the eye line of the increasingly digital shopper. Not to be confused with location-based marketing— which pushes out an alert to a mobile device in close proximity— location marketing is the process of optimizing the online presence of a business’s physical locations. It entails offline businesses leveraging the full range of means available to maintain their organic visibility online— the goal being to capture the intent of local customers when they are searching for goods and services in that area. A numbers game The effectiveness of simply leveraging free online directories and review sites, such as Google My Business, Facebook and TripAdvisor—— makes it accessible to every retailer, from small independent businesses to large international chains. Fast-food giant KFC, for example, pooled its business listings into a central platform, ensuring its 1,000 UK outlets could be easily managed across 50,000 total listings. As a result of these small, but widescale improvements, KFC saw a huge spike in customer actions, including a staggering 60 percent increase in clicks on the ‘directions’ information across all of its listings, leading to a 16 percent growth in revenue generated by local search. Answer customers’ concerns But just making sure your company is listed is not enough; online reviews make or break businesses today, and if they’re low, Google will take this into account, and down-rank your presence as a result. “Responding quickly and individually to reviews – good and bad – that customers have left on social media and other websites strengthens a brand’s reputation,” said Paul O’Donoghue, Vice President, Solution Engineering at location marketing platform Uberall. “Best practice review management also has a positive impact on organic search engine rankings, as trustworthiness— alongside keywords— is one of the two key factors influencing SEO [search engine optimization].” In the hospitality sector, 77 percent of consumers check reviews for restaurants before booking a table, according to Uberall, but four in 10 people would still use a business if it had replied appropriately to the negative reviews. Local SEO Being an offline business doesn’t mean brands shouldn’t have a website, either, and […]

Full article on original web page… techhq.com

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