If you want to engage your customers, build loyalty, and ultimately increase sales, a great place to start is by examining the path to purchase through your customer’s eyes. With mobile internet penetration ever increasing, the way your customers search for, interact with, and get to your locations may not be what you expect. Services like Facebook, Google, Apple Maps, and Foursquare are steadily increasing their local search capabilities as well as the information available. This means that far more people will look for stores, services, restaurants, and products in places other than a corporate website.
Make it easy
With the ability to access store hours, contact information, and directions directly on these services using a simple search there is very little incentive for anyone to open a web browser, go to a corporate web page, go to the store locator, and type in their address to find the nearest store. Each step that you require a customer to take to get the information they need to make a purchase is a potential drop off point. By contrast, ensuring that you put all the information they need right at their fingertips wherever they look not only makes their purchase decision easier but often has other, less obvious benefits.
Make it visible
Having each and every store in a chain listed on services like Facebook and Google+ not only increase your visibility and drives sales, it also has the added benefit of enabling your customers to act as brand ambassadors for you. When a customer has a pleasant experience and tags content such as an Instagram photo, tweet, or Facebook post to a location online they spread your brand for you. This is an extremely powerful form of viral advertising and some of the most important content in terms of influencing a purchase decision in others. In addition, posts made to local pages have up to 346% more interactions that posts made to brand pages and those interactions act as free advertising with the added bonus of social influence.
As smartphone penetration continues to grow in India more and more people are using mobile app, services, and search engines to find local businesses and make purchases. In order to stay competitive and maximize customer acquisition companies must adapt to the consumer’s behaviour and in this case, that means acting local in as many online channels as possible.