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The behaviour of Internet users has changed drastically these past few years. To the point that Internet has become a tool to increase sales in your stores.

For a long time, "brick and mortar" retailers felt that online shopping diverted customers away from their stores, and that the use of smartphones was heading in the same direction. However, they could not have been more wrong. 

Drive web-to-store converstions: where is the closest store? iStock_000027578026Medium-1024x1024

According to a study conducted by Google in May 2014, 4 out of 5 Internet users make "localised" searches: in other words, they want to find a store close by where they can buy the products they desire. When they use their smartphones, the most frequently searched information is:

  • the store's business hours
  • its address
  • the best way to get there.


When they use their tablets or computers, it is to find out if the product they intend to buy is actually in stock in a store nearby

You don't know how to start adding your point of sales on the web? Start with Google! Here is an article that will help you understand how to add your point-of-sales on Google.

Smartphones are your friends

Searches on smartphones have tangible and immediate results for retailers. Half of mobile Internet users who looked up information for a store on their smartphones actually go to that store no later than the next day. Even better: a third of them enter the store within a short time of their online search.

even inside the store

Even more surprising: smartphones further drive sales when the mobile user is already in the store. Another study conducted by Google in October 2014 has shown that 79% of mobile users actually use their phones in store. And their searches seem to focus mostly (71%) on improving their experience as customers. There is, however, one drawback: two out of three potential buyers do not find the information they are looking for online when they are in store.  This frustrates 43% of them, and 41% of them leave and go to another store.

But what are these smartphone shoppers looking for? Google asked them about what they would like to find online:

  • 85% would like discounts and exclusive offers they could use in store,
  • 64% would like product recommendations,
  • 54% would like recommendations based on what their friends and family bought.

Take advantage of the excitement!

These two studies clearly show you what to do to make smartphones your best ally:

  • Update local information for your stores. Verifying and optimising your store's online visibility, especially for mobile users, is crucial these days: when a mobile user searches for you online, you can bet they are not too far away!
  • Use localised" AdWords campaigns: they enable you to specifically target consumers who are looking to buy a product close to their location.
  • Update "product" information on your website. Internet users who visit your website from their phones, their computers or their tablets want to know if the product they are searching for is available in the nearest store and at what price.  And why not offer them a little promotion at the same time?

With the possible exception of the last one, these suggestions do not require any substantial investment on your part. But now it's up to you to take advantage of the hordes of customers ready to walk through your doors! 

You are not sure if your stores are well positionned on-line? Request your free audit:

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