Technology continues to baffle us. With new technological developments at the drop of a hat, it is amazing to see how far we have come and how much technology contributes to our lives. Taking the case of shopping and making purchases for example. The first thing we do today, is throw our desired products or services into a search engine and explore its easy accessibility. Search results pop up, and then we further explore the results and go through the different kinds of available information as we gradually proceed. This happens round-the-clock in most geographies. And it makes it all the more critical for multi-location businesses to understand the importance of their unique digital identity. It is thus clear, that in today’s ecosystem, consumer experience starts categorically from a digital touchpoint. Consequently, the stronger a business’s digital footprint, the more positive the consumer’s journey.
Let’s look at how this digital experience shapes up for consumers while engaging digitally with brands and physical retail businesses.
Multi-location businesses have the ability to cater to a large and diverse audience base, simply by virtue of the fact that they are present at various locations. However, consumer awareness of these businesses increases primarily through digital channels, particularly when they search for products or solutions that can be locally and easily accessed. So, it becomes important to ensure that each of the physical business locations has a recognizable digital identity on search engines and is easily discoverable to consumers at the right time. Of course, to ensure these digital identities, or as formally known – business profiles, are appearing as top, optimized results upon searching, it is important for businesses to build them with as much information as possible. Specific to their locations, they can furnish information such as contact details, business hours, pictures, product descriptions, and lots more. These solidify the profiles and start the consumer’s journey on a positive note.
The aim of every business location is to make every touchpoint satisfying for consumers. In the context of the digital journey, it is capabilities such as automated chats for instance, that extend the store’s identity and help consumers find value-driven engagement. These chat capabilities can answer various consumer queries and offer a humanized experience. When chat features are embedded in the business profiles, consumers naturally find a means of asking questions and an association starts to get built with the business. Offering additional interaction opportunities through Reviews and Ratings too, helps businesses better understand their existing perception in the consumer’s mind. Such touchpoints increase the likelihood of consumers paying physical visits and further enrich the relationship. And as consumers continue to move forward in their purchase journey with a positive image of the store, the chances of conversions taking place rise considerably.
Rapid technological expansions and the growth of digital capabilities have enabled businesses in several ways. In the context of consumer journeys and their connection with physical stores, something called eCommerce-enabled location pages is a classic example of that. Such pages allow every business location to promote offers and discounts for local audiences and build stronger holds in the market. As their digital identity strengthens and becomes familiar to consumers, their associations improve and consumers find greater encouragement to make purchases from them.
Consumer experience is, and will continue to remain a top priority for brands. And with the number of choices consumers have today, brands make dedicated efforts to delight consumers. At no point, can a brand afford a negative impact during any of the digital or physical consumer touchpoints. Delivering a positive experience and consistency across the intertwined digital and physical routes, allows brands to build and maintain long-lasting relationships with consumers. Such an omnichannel focus is becoming increasingly important. For instance, if a consumer has had a good experience during the online chat but is not happy about the interaction with the representative when physically at the store, it can cause serious damage to the association. Similarly, if a consumer has seamlessly transacted through a business’s local eCommerce page, but is facing logistical challenges during similar transactions physically at the store, there are major chances of negative perceptions being built. With rising competition, brands are progressively paying attention to such nuances, and paying the highest possible attention to consumer-experience.
Maintaining Updated Business Listings – For every business location, it is important to ensure that every piece of relevant information stays fully updated on its business listing, on search engines. With countless consumers accessing a brand’s outlets across wide geographies, inaccurate digital information, however small it may seem, can cause potential opportunity losses.
Keeping Location-level Pages Updated – In conjunction with the digital teams, stores need to ensure that every detail about business operations, local offers, events, and all other consumer-specific information is always furnished on the location-leveleCommerce pages. This plays a pivotal role in ensuring that stores are able to solidify their unique digital identity and enable consumers at multiple levels.
Monitoring Reviews and Ratings – To stay ahead and strengthen consumer-relationships, brands must at all times, be aware of what consumers feel about them. So, monitoring reviews and ratings received, responding to them, addressing negative reviews, and analyzing received reviews, all become critical. In addition to reviews and ratings received on business listings and local eCommerce pages, brands must keep track of reviews and feedback received on various other external platforms. Such holistic measures allow brands to form a positive image and serve consumers better.