Do you want to drive more online shoppers through the doors of your store?

Of course you do.

Whilst there are various methods to increase this like word of mouth marketing, in-store events and click and collect schemes, there is one often overlooked aspect you can improve:

Your store locator page.

A well-designed store locator can help get customers (or potential customers) to find and drop into your store. However, for it to be effective, your store finder page needs to follow some store locator best practices.

10 Store Locator Best Practices

The number of customers researching, reviewing and then purchasing items online is growing.

In fact, Google reports that every month people visit 1.5 billion destinations based on their Google search. So following best practices with your store locator page is really in your businesses best interests.

google searches vs destination visits

In this article, we’ll explore 10 best practices for how to best setup your store locator.

Ready? Lets go:

1. View your store locator as a source of revenue

If you think about it, your store locator has one main goal: to help you create revenue. After all, the entire point is to help your potential customers find your business, visit it and then spend money there.

Consider these statistics:

local search statistics

Studies suggest that 18% of consumers who are searching locally on their mobiles will visit a store on the same day. So you want to make sure they can actually find your location and avoid losing out to competitors.

2. Limit the number of locations shown at a time

If you have multiple locations, avoid showing all of them at once. From a customers point of view, store locators displaying far too many results can be overwhelming. Ideally, aim to display only 5-10 locations at a time, any more could be potentially confusing to your customers.

3. Zip code only searching

This is more of something not to do than a best practice, but it’s still worth mentioning. One of the most frustrating parts of using a store locator for a place you are not familiar with is only being able to search by zip code.

If you don’t know the area, this means going to Google, searching for the area code, and then coming back to the store locator. That’s too many steps and can risk losing a customer. So make it easy for them.

Which leads nicely on to…

4. Show results based on a user location

By detecting a user’s location, it can be useful to show store locations without them having to search for it. Usually this is done by detecting the IP address followed by a prompt for geolocation from the browser. You’ve probably seen something similar a few times:

geolocation for store locators

This way, by detecting the location and then displaying an accurate browser geolocations, you have increased the chances of a user finding exactly what location they want.

5. Support third-party apps for directions

Having Apple Maps or Google Maps linked to your store locator page can be incredibly useful for customers. When setup, users will be able to click on their preferred location and launch travel directions in there navigation app of choice:

google maps directions

Instead of trying to work out directions and navigate themselves, let your site’s store locator do it for them.

6. Have a mobile friendly design/layout

It goes without saying that your store locator (and your website for that matter) should work well on mobile. After all, most people are likely to visit it on a smartphone, so make sure it is responsive.

Not only this, but customers browsing on mobiles will have different priorities compared to those searching on desktop computers. Smartphone users will be viewing your site on a smaller screen and will often be on the move (hopefully looking for your nearest store to their location).

mobile search trends

According to this study, 52.2% of all website traffic (across the whole world) was from mobile phones in 2018, so you really want to make sure your store locators work on them. Whilst we are on the topic of mobile phones…

7. Include clickable phone numbers

This seems like an obvious one: but having clickable phone numbers can really improve the experience for users. Think of it this way: by not providing clickable numbers, you risk losing customers by mistyping or forgetting to copy and paste your phone number.

clickable phone numbers

Depending on your business, some users may be travelling and on a mobile device whilst viewing, so they just want a quick way to get in touch.

8. Include location-specific details

Obviously you want to show information like the correct store name, address and phone number on your store locator page. But you could also show location specific information like store opening hours to ensure customers don’t try to drive to a closed store.

add location details to store locator

9. Offer search and filtering functions

Sometimes customers may need to search for stores that offer particular services or product. So make it easy for them. By offering advanced search and filtering functionality, you make the shopping experience better for your customers.

For example, BeardBrand lets customers search for store that stock a specific product range:

store locator filtering

10. Don’t forget your branding

When designing your store finder, think about how it looks in relation to your brand, to help customers recognise your stores. For example, Firenza Pizza have incorporated their flame-based logo as the pin points of locations on their map to help tie in the location page with the branding of the rest of the site.

store locator page branding

Summary

There you have it; the 10 store locator best practices you need to follow. Let’s take a quick recap:

  • View your store locator as a source of revenue
  • Limit the number of locations shown at a time
  • Zip code only searching
  • Show results based on a user location
  • Support third-party apps for directions
  • Have a mobile friendly design/layout
  • Include clickable phone numbers
  • Include location-specific details
  • Offer search and filtering functions
  • Don’t forget your branding

The key to making your locator pages useful is to understand your customers and then create a resource that is useful to them. Your store locator page is perfect for this and will make location marketing more valuable to your business.

To create your own store locator page, take a look at our demo or find out more about Storemapper’s store locator features.