Tips for making it easy for customers to shop with you
Starting an online store
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As a business owner, you want to make it as easy as possible for potential customers to do business with you. If customers can’t find information about your business, they can’t shop with you — and if their experience with your website is bad, they won’t want to.
A positive, easy-to-use shopping experience will make new customers more likely to shop with you, and can help turn first-timers into loyal shoppers.
This lesson will provide you with retail best practices for optimizing your Business Profile on Google Search and Maps to drive more traffic, as well as recommendations for creating a customer-friendly website experience.
How to make the most out of your Business Profile on Google
A free Business Profile on Google can help physical retail stores stand out on Google Search and Maps. You can manage how your business appears on Google by adding photos, updating your hours, linking to your website, and much more.
Use the features of your Business Profile to show new services you offer, such as curbside pickup or delivery.
Information to include in your Business Profile on Google
Making sure your business is easy to find online is key to converting online window-shoppers into loyal customers. The majority of customers — 4 out of 5 — use search engines like Google to find information about local businesses such as store hours, addresses, and directions.1
are using search engines to find local information like store addresses, business hours, and directions
1 Google/Ipsos, Understanding Consumers' Local Search Behavior, May 2014.
So, what information do shoppers want to see in your Business Profile? We’re glad you asked! Google’s free Local Opportunity Finder tool can scan your Business Profile and automatically offer personalized suggestions about information you should add.
If you want more tips and recommendations to improve your presence on Google Search and Maps, here are some other things to consider:
- Informative descriptions. Shoppers want to know what makes your business stand out from the rest. Interesting details such as “family owned,” “fair trade,” or “third generation” can help distinguish you from the competition.
- Up-to-date hours. Your Business Profile makes it easy to include “special hours” that automatically update your opening and closing times on holidays or for special events.
- Store details. Adding profile attributes like “curbside pickup” or “delivery” to your listing helps customers know all the different ways they can shop with you.
- Eye-catching photos and videos. Your Business Profile lets you add logos, photos, and videos of your business. Adding interior and exterior photos gives shoppers an idea of your store’s atmosphere and can help your unique branding stand out.
- Real-time inventory and availability. 46 percent of U.S. shoppers check product availability online before going to a store.2 You can show your real-time inventory on your profile so customers know what’s in stock before they visit your store with Pointy.
of US shoppers check product availability information online before going to a store
2 Google/Ipsos, Global, Global Retail Study, Base: total sample (n=14,206), online 18+ who shopped in the last week, countries included: AR, AU, BR, CA, CZ, FR, DE, IN, ID, IT, JP, KR, MX, NL, PL, PT, RU, SA, ZA, ES, SE, TR, UA, GB, U.S., AE, VN, Feb. 2019.
How to improve your retail website customer experience
E-commerce websites let customers shop and make purchases directly with your business online. For retailers without physical locations — or who are looking to supplement their in-store sales — e-commerce websites can unlock valuable new revenue streams and opportunities.
What shoppers want from your retail website
For tailored tips to improve online shopping experiences, Google’s free tool Grow My Store can automatically assess your retail website’s customer experience and offer helpful suggestions on how to make it better, faster, and easier to use.
If you want more tips on how to improve your retail website customer experience, here are some other things to consider:
- Offer flexible delivery options. In today’s e-commerce world, the customer is king — and that extends to delivery, too. Offering free delivery can help make your business more attractive to shoppers. Giving customers a choice of different delivery methods, speeds, and locations (like home delivery, parcel lockers, and in-store) also shows your commitment to superior customer service.
- Offer gift options. Whether it’s the holiday shopping season or just a loved one’s birthday, many online shoppers prefer to take advantage of gift wrapping services or gift card alternatives when purchasing with someone else in mind. Make it easy for them by prominently offering these options.
- Feature product reviews up front. Shoppers trust recommendations from their peers, and frequently want to see customer reviews of a product before deciding to buy. Feature selected reviews prominently on your homepage or at the top of your product pages where shoppers can’t miss them.
- Use high-resolution product images. Seeing is believing, especially in e-commerce. Products with high-resolution images are more likely to appear in relevant search queries, and will capture customers’ attention while building trust in your brand. Learn more about Google’s required product image sizes.
- Highlight your return policy. Featuring the benefits of your return policy (like offering free returns, free exchanges, and return packaging), can help customers feel more comfortable pressing the “buy” button with your business.
- Improve your site speed. First impressions make a big difference. Shoppers expect your e-commerce website to load quickly (especially on mobile devices) or they’ll go somewhere else. In fact, improving your site load time by just 0.1 second can boost your conversion rate by 8 percent.3
Improving your load time by 0.1s can boost conversion rates by 8%
3 Google/Deloitte - Milliseconds Make Millions.
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Making it easy for customers to find your business online and shop on your website can make a significant impact on your bottom line. Retailers with physical stores should be sure to complete their free Business Profile on Google to drive foot traffic, while e-commerce retailers should pay attention to website best practices.