Online shopping has become the new in thing because of its convenience, ease of access and generally less overhead. However, every now and again, customers enjoy the stimulating experience of shopping at a physical store. This is where a store locator comes in handy, especially if you have multiple stockists around the world.
Before we dive into the world of store locators, a brief explanation:
Store locators (such as WordPress Store Locater, MapSVG, Mapify Pro, and Advanced Google Maps Plugin) help customers find your business locations easily. These plugins rely on Google Maps for displaying locations and as a result, you’ll be able to utilise Google Maps features such as the various map views, geolocation and direction to get to the nearest store.
So, when finding the right store locator, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Plugins provide you with great location management systems. However, in addition to that, you need to look at the features offered by your various store locator plugin options. Depending on your business you may want to consider things such as if the plugin can be utilised internationally, has multilingual features, how customizable it is in terms of filters, search results, its navigation, layout, use of SEO etc.
Customizations are always an added bonus. If you want to give your store locator map a unique look, then you think about choosing a plugin with the option of customising your map appearance and style. The styles can range from the default google map look to customised looks like retro, silver, night and more. In a way, it’s kind of like choosing a filter for your map.
Plugins like the Locatoraid Store Locator and MapSVG Store Locator allow you to configure your custom map style to suite your website. These plugins include thousands of map styles, customizable containers for map menus, filter and details, and easy options that you can enable for visitors on your website.
To add on to that, If you want more control over your map customization options, some plugins offer you the option of having customised font type and colour. You’d be able to tailor your map to your website, giving it a very professional and coherent look. Plugins like the VO Store Locator are just one of the few that have this option available. This allows you to get creative with your map’s look and features to suit your preference and style.
Ability to tag listings
If you have many stockist on your site, it may be good to have the ability to tag all your listings according to the store that supplies them. This helps greatly when your customer goes looking for a specific item as they would be able to find exactly where the item is available and if they have it in stock. It not only saves your customer the time of having to search for the store that carries the product but it also ensures a customer’s return because of its convenience.
Today, SEO is one of the keys of content marketing. So, having a plugin that has already got a great SEO optimization tool is an added bonus. SimpleMap Store Locator is one of the few plugins that have this feature. Besides increasing your visibility on a local level, you’d be able to connect your customers with exactly what they are looking for in no time and consequently drive more traffic to your website, stores and stockist.
How does this work? Google and other search engines want to serve people the best results for their search. This means that optimising your site visitors leads to higher rankings. Simply put, when someone searches for your product, because you have the combined information of a store locator plugin and SEO, the easier it is for someone to find your page that matches their result.SEO is like a resume, you polish it so you have your best foot forward – Matt Cutts Click To Tweet
Nearby store functionality & user geolocation
Most of the time, when a customer wants a closer look at the product, they often go on google to search the nearest store so that they can physically examine the product. This would mean that they leave your website and that reduces the traffic and time spent on your site.
However, if you opt to have a plugin that includes the nearby store functionality, you will find that this will help in keeping viewers on your site and drive more traffic to your stores. This is a great tool for not only easing your customer’s search options but also in making your website relevant for your customers.
To add on to the nearby store functionality, having a user geolocation ability is a good option. The geolocation feature helps get the user’s location and aids them in choosing the best store for them. This helps the user locate their nearby store easily. Think of all the headache you can help your customer avoid especially if they are unsure of the nearby stores.
Last but not least, one of the more important features is how well your plugin can help you internationally. If you have plenty of stockist all over the world, having a store locater plugin that caters to the international crowd is important. Look for a plugin that has worldwide options and enables users around the world to search with convenience. This may mean looking at having a multilingually compatible plugin as well.
To recap, adding a store locator to your website helps your customers and visitors quickly find the nearest store or stockist. This not only improves their user experience, but also improves your website ranking. Also, by using store locator plugins, you are integrating a functional map along with added options to provide a visual representation of your business.
A good plugin choice can help elevate your brand locally and internationally. So, choose a plugin wisely and find one that suits your individual needs.