Customers continue to grow impatient. The digital era now provides people with instant gratification—they expect the buying process to be simple and easy. If not, they’ll find a new company where the process is simple and easy. This is why Transformation Marketing provides our potential clients with a simple way to contact us. Click “connect” and submit your information. We do the rest.
But this process isn’t as simple for e-commerce sights and local stores. The online buying process takes multiple steps for security and verification, all while combatting internet speeds.
Plus, local stores must make their location easily accessible. Everyone knows where the local Walmart is located and what they sell, plus the retail giant’s endless supply of revenue will always keep their site secure and up-to-speed.
But what about the mom and pop shops? The 28 million small businesses scattered throughout the country. The businesses who collectively contribute $8.5 trillion of the $17 trillion U.S. GDP and employee almost half of the private sector workforce. They’re responsible for the incomes of $120 million people!
What are recent trends small businesses can capitalize on?
Google holds over 90 percent of the global search engine market. Google Trends allows users to analyze Google search history based on keywords, which can then be broken down by country, state and interest by metro areas.
For example, in 2011, the keywords “near me” in Google searches in Nebraska showed an interest score of 0—Google Trends’s lowest score. Since then, “near me” searches in Nebraska have peaked, with an interest score of 100—the highest score possible. You can see the line graph here:
Transitioning, a recent Google report found in the last 2 years mobile searches…
- For “open now” grew by 200 percent
- For “24/7 customer service” grew by 400 percent
- Containing the keywords “can I/to buy” + “near me” increased six-fold
To compare, searches for “buy near me” have more than doubled in Nebraska since 2016.
What does this mean for small businesses?
These findings, paired with growing customer impatience, highlight the dire need for businesses to optimize their online process every step of the way. Like we’ve stated in a previous blog, Google values user-friendliness because users value user-friendliness. It’s not so much that customers have a shorter attention span, but have an increased sense of value when it comes to their time. Users hate wasting time on slow websites that serve up word soup rather than insightful content. Google recognizes this and adjusts their optimization to match.
For stores that rely on in-store customers, start by adding the store’s location to Google and providing open hours as well. Customers will not necessarily visit your site before stopping in, they’re searching “near me” for immediate results.
When customers search “near me” a Google Maps with nearby store locations becomes their first search result. The store’s location, hours and reviews will pop up within the map once it’s listed.
Note, it’s still vital that you optimize your site. In today’s digital world, a website means verification—a bad site is bad for business. The website must be optimized in a manner that allows customers to easily navigate pages and research products to see if the store is worth their time.
For e-commerce sites, optimization is by far the best avenue. Website speed and navigation are vital. An impatient customer is more likely to leave a website if it’s slow and difficult to navigate, especially when making an online purchase. No matter how secure a website is, customers grow weary of slow websites when they’re financial information is on the line.
Here at Transformation Marketing, we’re a small business too and know the struggles that come with the territory. We understand that small businesses may not have the personnel or budget to staff an entire marketing department. That’s why we’re here, connect with us and improve your business’s marketing and bottom line.