Product Locator: where the Internet and brick-and-mortar businesses come together

It’s becoming more and more common, if not second nature, for customers to search for or locate points of sale using devices such as smartphones and tablets. Firmly rooted in the digital age, this process – known as Store Locator – represents a huge step forward for Internet users. Store Locator offers the quickest and best route to the customer’s chosen point of sale, as well as guaranteeing that it will be worth their while to physically visit a given store. However, the Product Locator service goes a step further, offering up-to-date information on the in-store availability of the product or service searched for online so that the customer finds what they’re looking for as soon as possible.

Brands or businesses retailing in heavily competitive sectors, as well as price comparison services, should not neglect to take advantage of the benefits that the geolocation of a given customer’s nearest point of sale can bring to their business. This boosts local trade, given that the service’s primary objective is to respond to the needs of busy and often demanding customers.

Store Locator and Product Locator are already changing traditional consumer behaviour

  • Store Locator provides users with the address of the nearest store, as well as the quickest route

The information obtained via a map or geolocation app, is presented to the user as an itinerary based on either their current location or another of their choosing. Directions and supplementary information is also displayed, including; route, estimated time of arrival, store maps, opening hours, and parking information to ensure a smooth experience for the customer.

  • Product Locator gives real-time updates regarding stock and product availability in the client’s nearest store

As the Product locator is directly linked to the stock of a specific store, it offers customers accurate, up-to-date information relating to the availability of the product or service requested. The potential client is therefore sure of being able to successfully make their purchase before making the journey, therefore ensuring customer satisfaction. With the “Click & Reserve” service, the customer is able to begin the sale process themselves by reserving the product(s) in question online before collecting in-store.

These two systems work together to offer an open, transparent service to clients, allowing the sale process to begin online before being finalised offline.

Immediate benefits enjoyed by the retailer:

  • Increased traffic towards physical store/points of sale,
  • Improved conversion rate in-store, as clients are already well on their way to making a purchase,
  • Increased possibility of achieving subsequent/consecutive sales if multiple retail channels are used together.

Failing to take advantage of the opportunities presented by Product Locator technology will inevitably lead to the vendor being overtaken by competitors who are already utilising this tendency to encourage clients to come in-store (Web-to-store).

The key to a successful Store Locator

  • Pertinent/appropriate SEO referencing
  • Facilitating contact between client and store: phone, email, clear contact details…
  • Must be compatible with smartphones to ensure smooth navigation
  • Effective integration of geolocation technology with the brand’s existing website

Regardless of the type of store locator selected, the service’s ultimate aim is to increase brand visibility and facilitate transactions.