Local marketing strategy for retail

Running a brick-and-mortar store means constantly looking to improve customer experience, and attract new clients to your points of sale. Local marketing can help with that and boost your general marketing strategy. In this article, we share tips & tricks of local marketing for retail business.

What is local marketing for retail?

Local marketing is a set of actions companies can do to be visible to their clients in search and on maps. It's all about attracting local customers, engaging with them and driving them to your retail stores.

With local marketing, business usually targets its potential clients within a certain area. Imagine you want to buy a dress in your neighborhood but don't really know where а good store is. What will you do? Google it, of course. Google, in turn, identifies your location and shows you clothing stores that are nearby. But they didn't appear in search results by accident.
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In the top results the search system chooses and shows customers those stores' listings that give the most accurate and full information about their points of sale. It means that these companies thoroughly work with their local marketing to be as high in the local search results as possible.

The ultimate goal, however, is not only to make people come in at your location in a specific city, region, or neighborhood, but to influence their purchasing behavior.

How can local marketing help with that? Well, queries that include "near me", "nearby" have increased at 500% during the recent years, and 28% of local queries are converted into purchases. Moreover, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, and 88% of consumers who do a local search on their smartphone visit or call a store within a day.

That is, ignoring local marketing opportunities for your retail business simply means ignoring potential customers that are already likely to buy something from your store.

In this article, we share tips & tricks of building local marketing strategy for retailers so your business stands out from the crowd and skims all the cream of local search. So, let's begin.

Local marketing strategy for retailers: steps to follow

To attract a customer, you must think like a customer. Below we describe the 6 easy-to-follow steps that help retail businesses be closer to their clients and create a better shopping experience for them.

Step #1 – Let Google Business Profile work for you

When it comes to building a local marketing strategy that works, Google Business Profile (GBP) is a tool that will help, like, a lot. If you don't know about it yet, Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free tool by Google that "allows you to take charge of the way your business appears on Google Search and Maps".

We recommend starting with small steps. Keeping your GBP updated is the easiest thing that businesses can do, yet that step is often neglected and turns into the customers going to competitor's stores. Where to start from? Adding the following information will optimize your business for local searches and makes it easy for clients to find your stores:

  • Business name
  • Category
  • Address and pin location
  • Service area
  • Opening hours
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Photos
  • Attributes, etc.
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The good news is that when you have just a few locations, you can manage the data manually. Another good news is that even if you have many locations, you can still manage data and keep it updated with ease using special platforms. We at RocketData can help you with adding locations and keeping their data full and relevant on a daily basis.

Step #2 – Long live visuals!

High-quality, relevant visual content persuades, increases engagement and boosts sales. Google says that businesses that add photos to their GBP receive 42% more requests for directions and 35% more website clicks, which helps your business rank higher on Google and hit the top of local search results.
Filling your listing with photos is just the tip of the iceberg. It often happens that your clients or competitors submit poor-quality, unattractive and (sometimes completely) irrelevant photos. And you need to do something with that.
Happily, you can take control of it and submit complaints to remove them from your listing. With the Photo Management tool, you get notified about newly uploaded photos from all locations, can filter them by tags or publication date, and remove irrelevant content.

Step #3 – Let your loyal customers be your brand's advocates

We'll never get tired of saying that customer reviews are very important for any business. And especially for retail! According to Qualtricks, 93% of consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Moreover, reviews are the second most important ranking factor in local search.

The strategy here is quite simple: respond to all reviews (even reviews without text). Got a negative review from the client? This is not the end of the world and you can still turn it into a positive one. There are a couple of simple yet effective techniques that we share in our guide to review management.

The thing is that when you have multiple locations, it's difficult to manage reviews and respond to them manually. To simplify this for businesses, we created the Review center tool that allows you to get notified about new reviews from most popular digital platforms, quickly react to them from a single, easy-to-use interface. The true reputation saver!

Step #4 – Generate positive reviews to conquer your potential customers' trust

To let your potential customers see and conclude that your store is worth visiting, you need to show them that people are satisfied with your services and are ready to recommend your business to others. The best way to do that is to have enough positive customer reviews in your company's listings.

If you understand that customers like your stores and have a positive shopping experience but your company still don't have enough customer reviews in location-based services, that's a point to think and do something about it. Simply… Ask your customers in person to share their opinion or encourage them by sending messages or placing QR-codes at your location.

Please remember that reviews must be from real clients. Google algorithms are not the ones to play with, and they are really good at identifying fake reviews.

Step #5 – Use Google Posts to share important news

Just like in any relationship, communication plays a crucial role in a relationship with your clients. People are ready to listen to someone who has important or engaging news to share, and Google Posts are a powerful tool that can show what your business offers, keep your customers updated, and attract new clients. Numbers speak for themselves: If you make a post on Google Business Profile once a week, the visibility of your listings doubles.
What retail companies can post about? Tell your clients about new store openings, special offers and new arrivals, or help them make a decision with shopping guides. We share more ideas in our complete guide to Google Posts.
google local pack

Step #6 – Analyze your performance

Marketing is about creativity, experiments – and of course measurement. While it's often hard to know exactly the outcome of your marketing efforts, it's quite easy to see whether local marketing works for your business. Basic local SEO metrics include listing impressions, built routes, calls, the number of reviews and ratings.

Because when you can see the performance of each metric, you can make informed, data-driven decisions about your strategy adjustment, and what else you, as a marketer, should do to drive traffic to your stores.

We at RocketData are thrilled by the idea of making online presence and reputation analytics transparent and easy as one-two-three. And here we go with monthly reports and a single platform to analyze the visibility of your listings and the number of target actions within a certain period.

To sum up

Local marketing strategy is really important for retail business. When realized properly, it'll drive the traffic to your locations, build trust and engage your existing and potential customers. Those are pretty solid reasons to implement it into your global marketing strategy.

And it's actually easy when you have a clear vision and great tools at your support. At RocketData, we empower businesses with fresh knowledge on local marketing and a comprehensive, easy-to-use tool to manage online presence and reputation of your retail stores.
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