Displaying location-based information on your website is a simple way to improve customer satisfaction while encouraging customers to visit one of your locations. You’re doing the work of planning their shopping trips or vacations for them by presenting them with relevant information that’s easy to consume.
What Are the Benefits of Displaying Location-Based Information?
Displaying location-based information can improve customer satisfaction as it allows you to cater to your customer’s needs based on where they’re located or where they plan on travelling to. It allows you to go that one step further by providing useful information that may affect their experience with your website–and your business by extension–in a positive way.
What type of location-based information are we talking about? Nearby locations, or “nearby places,” as Google calls it. A wonderful example of this is a hotel that wants to let potential guests see which nearby restaurants, entertainment, and attractions they’ll be able to enjoy during their stay.
Another example is a restaurant or coffee shop that wants to persuade customers to dine at their establishment by showing them which shops are located nearby. A third example would be a coin-operated laundromat that wants to show customers nearby ATMs so they don’t have to worry about chasing down cash.
The point is providing location-based information is a simple way to improve customer satisfaction–if ever so slightly–particularly if you run a business that complements other types of businesses. You can also go a little further by auto-detecting your customer’s location when they land on your website, removing that one extra step they need to take to search for locations.
Our store locator application, My Store Locator Plus, includes a locator sensor on some of its plans. This sensor detects a visitor’s location automatically and displays your business’ nearest locations.
You can even learn about your customers’ buying habits by gathering information on how they shop and where they shop. This information can help you make key business decisions, such as when to offer sales and where to open new locations.
If the shopping area your coffee shop is located in is busy during specific hours on the weekends, offer half-priced coffee during that time to encourage customers to stop by while they shop. If it does well in major shopping centers, seek out other shopping centers when relocating or opening new locations.
Would Your Business Benefit from This?
It can be difficult to determine whether or not your business would benefit from displaying location-based information. Let’s go through a few different scenarios in which this type of information would benefit your customers.
Does Your Business Complement Another Business Type?
We mentioned this once already, but it’s important enough to merit its own section. You need to be creative and think about what other things your customer might want to do when they visit your business. You can also come up with ways to figure this information out.
Consumers like to dine while they shop. The number of food courts located in American malls is an indicator of that. If your restaurant is located near stores, consider displaying those nearby locations on your website. Similarly, if your store is located near a few restaurants or cafés, consider displaying those on your website.
Hotels and other establishments in the hospitality industry can benefit from displaying this type of information the most. Listing the restaurants, entertainment, and other attractions around your hotel can have a huge impact on whether or not a potential guest chooses to stay at your establishment.
Similarly, if you have a business meant to attract tourists, you’d benefit from displaying nearby hotels, motels, and inns on your website.
Consider what type of businesses, if any, complement your business, and determine if your customer would appreciate the extra information.
Can You Display Related Information from Google Maps?
As you probably already know, Google Maps displays a lot more than just businesses, homes, and other types of buildings these days. They also display parks, bus stops, train stations, bike trails, and more. Consider whether or not any of these types of places on Google Maps relate to your business as well as whether or not your customers would benefit from the information.
For example, a customer browsing your bike shop website would likely appreciate the ability to look up nearby bike trails. A customer shopping on an outdoor gear store’s website would appreciate being able to browse lakes, ponds, and other fishing spots. Lastly, a customer shopping on a pet store website would appreciate the ability to look up dog-friendly parks in their area.
Browse Google Maps to see what other types of locations they display on the map, and consider whether or not your customers would benefit from seeing this information on your website.
Is Your Business Located Near a Source of Transportation?
Some businesses may benefit from displaying nearby sources of transportation on their websites. For example, airline flyers with lengthy layovers may wish to leave the airport and check out nearby establishments between flights, in which case, you’d benefit from pointing out the nearby airport and taxi services if your business is located near an airport.
Some consumers don’t have cars, in which case, they likely take the bus. If your business is located near one or more bus stops, consider pointing them out on your website so customers can plan their route if they wish to visit your business.
Find out what sources of transportation are near your business, see if they’re located on Google Maps, and consider whether or not your customers would benefit from knowing this information, too.
How to Implement Location-Based Information on Your Website
There are a couple of different ways you can implement this type of feature on your website. The first way is to hire a developer (if you aren’t one yourself).
Your developer would need to use the Google Maps API to auto-detect a customer’s location when they visit your site or allow them to search for it themselves. This functionality would also display that location to them by implementing Google Maps on your site. They would then need to use the Google Places API to display nearby locations.
However, there’s an even easier way to implement this type of feature on your website.
As we mentioned before, My Store Locator Plus is our store locator application. It allows you to display as many as 5,000 store locations on your website, making it a useful application for all business sizes.
We already mentioned the location sensor built into our application, but it also comes with the ability to use location categories on certain plans. Revisiting our hotel example from earlier, a company could create a category called “Hotels” and organize all of their locations under it. They could then create separate categories for nearby business types, such as “Restaurants,” “Theaters,” “Attractions,” and more.
When it comes down to it, location-based information is best when used by businesses that pair well with other business types. Businesses that have customers who would benefit from this type of information are certain to see an advantage to including it as well.
Have you considered including location-based info on your site? Feel free to share your process below.