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Can your customers find you? (study)

Jean Coutu and Walmart Canada lead the pack in digital local marketing

Canadian consumers love using their smartphones to research brands and find nearby stores to make their purchase. Unfortunately, many Canadian retailers aren’t making it easy for those consumers to find those stores.

That’s the message in a new whitepaper just released from Mediative that scores top Canadian brands on their digital location marketing and offers advice and suggestions for improvement. After all, the interest in ecommerce may be huge, but according to Mediative, 93% of all retail spend is still being done offline.

“Retailers today are just not adapting to the way that the new mobile, local and social consumer is evolving,” said Chris Pinkerton, vice-president, client development for Mediative, the digital marketing arm of Yellow Pages Group. “Businesses need to think about how they can be found in a different way than they used to be found.”

Not long ago it was just about an address in a phone book, but today consumers can access location information from a number of different sources and if that information is inaccurate, people may not be able to find your store or, even worse, they could walk through the door of your competitor instead.

Mediative partnered with U.S. location data experts Placeable to evaluate 25 leading Canadian retail brands on their local digital marketing performance. The brands were given scores across four key areas of digital local marketing—depth, reach, visibility and precision—as well as an overall score out of 100.

Of those 25 brands, only Jean Coutu and Walmart Canada were evaluated as “doing well,” with scores of 60.

For all the brands studied, an average of 80% of all third-party site listings (Yelp, Google Maps, Foursquare, etc.) are “inconsistent, inaccurate, or missing information.” Only 8% of map pin placements were “good” with 92% being “fair” or “poor.”

“Location, to me, is a proxy for intent,” said Pinkerton. When someone is researching a product or service and they search for location, they are fairly far along the purchase funnel. Retail brands that can be easily found at that point—with business hours, address and directions—will see more consumers visit a physical store and will generate more revenue.

According to 2014 research from Google, 56% of consumers use search engines to locate nearby retailers, and 50% of consumers visit a store within 24 hours of a local search.

the data out there is not as accurate as it could be for actually taking someone to a retailer’s physical location,” said Pinkerton. “I think the quick win is making sure that they have their own location information as accurate as possible.”

Retailers or any multi-location business should be doing “listings management,” he said. “This is a process of sending their accurate location information to these sources to ensure they are accurate, visible and consistent. This will help them be found by the on-the-go consumer.

Rona (58), Lululemon (57), Real Canadian Superstores (55) and Staples (55) were all not far behind Jean Coutu and Walmart, though deemed to need improvement in several areas. Big brands like Winners (48) Shoppers Drug Mart (47), Home Depot Canada (42) and Hudson’s Bay Company (40) need “significant improvement” while Ardene (34), Home Hardware (34) and La Senza (26) are at the bottom of the list.

One of the reasons for Jean Coutu’s strong ranking was its score of 80 for the “depth and accuracy of published location content.” Citing a Cisco report, Mediative said “rich online content” like ratings and reviews, videos and product pictures is “the most utilized” by consumers making a purchasing decision.

“As well as publishing the name, address, phone number and hours for each location on Jean Coutu’s website, additional location data is provided such as local flyers and offers, directions, services provided, brands offered, photos, and more,” said the paper. “The brand could go even further by including more content such as videos.”

Conversely, depth of content was the lowest scoring area for all brands, with 72% providing nothing beyond the basics of name, address, hours and phone number on their location pages. “Engaging content on local pages will increase a brand’s visibility on the search engine results page and ultimately drive more traffic to the website and in-store.”

•89% of Canadian smartphone users search for local information, and 67% of consumers use smartphones to find store locations.
•57% of people want a retailer within 8 km of their current location.
•18% of local searches on a smartphone lead to a purchase within a day.
•71% of first-time business visitors research and confirm the location online before leaving, and 22% get location details from their smartphone while on the way.
•31% of consumers blame the brand if data is missing on third party sites.

This article first appeared on

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