Insights

22nd December 2018

Why having an online presence could help sales in your high street shop

Over recent months there has been much debate over the impact of the rise of the internet and online shopping on our high streets. However, there is evidence to suggest that Google and other search engines may be helping consumers find their way back in to bricks and mortar stores.

Online retailing adds a certain ease to the shopping process, with an abundance of options to choose from, yet its convenience is often criticised for causing the decline in people shopping in store.

It may come as a shock to many of us that online sales actually only account for 18% of total retail sales in the UK, according to the Office of National Statistics. With the rise of online shopping and many retailers offering products online, at first it seems hard to believe that the percentage isn’t a lot higher.

Although, when we look in to this a bit further, we can see why going in to store still holds some appeal. Whilst ordering online can be quick and easy, for many consumers there are some areas where online retailing is lacking, such as the inability to try clothes on before you buy and the costs of postage and packing.

 

The rise of location-based searches

According to Google, nearly 1/3 of mobile searches are location related and last year it reported that every month people visit 1.5 billion destinations related to what they search for on Google.

We are seeing an increase in ‘near me’ searches and specific location-based searches such as ‘electrician in Bristol’, and Google also tells us that 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. This highlights the need for businesses to be improving their online presence and ensuring they make the most of every channel.

By including your location and opening times on your website and social media channels, search engines will be able to easily identify where your business is based, and you will have a better chance of showing up in organic results for location-based searches.

In addition to optimising your website, you should create a Google My Business account to start improving your visibility on Google search. This is great for local listings and will help to put you on the map.

If you are using paid search marketing, you can easily choose keywords to target specific locations that you operate in, which may be beneficial for businesses who have a main office but can offer their services further afield.

 

Google is listening to what consumers want and has been working hard to make location related queries more about local search, meaning it has never been more important for businesses to start thinking about their online presence.

For more information about improving your visibility online, get in touch with our team today.