If you sell your products exclusively online, then keep scrolling, this post isn't for you.
But if you have a retail location, run a food truck, sell at farmers markets, or in other people stores, then I've got something you might be interested in.
Marketing your offline business
We know that instead of devoting your time to driving traffic to your product pages, you're bringing your products to your customers at high-traffic locations, and selling to them in person.
But that doesn't mean you should be ignoring your website.
In fact, you can't afford to.
Running Facebook ads to your store is an amazing way to increase your sales. Or you can set up your Shopify blog to start increasing engagement. And your "about us" page is the perfect place to combine your relatable, honest personal story with your cool products to grow your traffic.
Those are all great ways to start marketing your business online, and you should definitely be doing them.
But we have a secret weapon for making it easier for your customers to find you...
Why a store locator is your solution
Instead of driving traffic to your product pages, you'll be sending your customers to your Shopify store to find YOU.
It's a no-brainer.
They're quick to set up, and customers can easily search for you by address, ZIP, what products they sell, or any other search parameter you like, with the results showing up on an interactive map with all their details.
But it's more than that.
A store locator is perfect for online stores with retail locations, but we've seen Bold's Store Locator app used by merchants in some really cool ways.
Here are a few of our favorites.
Help customers find your food truck
By providing an easy and accessible way for your customer base to find you, you can expect greater customer volume, which equals more $$.
In this scenario, instead of tagging retail locations, you'll be tagging the locations where your food truck will be.
You can add a search filter to each of your tags, letting your customers sort your locations by days of the week.
So if you're selling downtown Monday-Friday, and move to a city park on the weekend, you'd set up a pin for both locations, and in the descriptions of each put in what days of the week you'll be there. Or you can add in the dates as an extra field.
As long as you're keeping your website up to date, it's an easy way for your customers to find you.
Pro Tip: Use your Shopify store to sell merch with your logo on it. It's super easy to set up a drop shipping store on Shopify, which means you won't have to deal with sourcing your products, shipping them out, or the upfront cost of purchasing stock. The cheapest way of spreading the word about your business is by having others do it for you, so you have nothing to lose! Plus your awesome new shirts will be perfect for your staff to wear too.
Selling at local farmers markets
Whether you make your own products, grow them yourself, or sell your merchandise in person, a farmers market is the perfect place for you to not only sell your products, but to get to know your customers in person.
And with over 8, 500 registered farmers markets in the United States, it can be tricky for those customers to know where you're going to be.
Since Store Locator uses the Google Maps API, they'll also be able to get up-to-date driving instructions right on their phones.
You can also go the extra step of adding a link to your store locator page to each farmers market's website so your customers can find out the hours, parking information, and who else will be selling for each individual event.
This tactic is also perfect if you sell at craft shows and conventions.
Thinking of selling at a farmers market? Check out this awesome post on using social media to drive farmers market sales.
Finding your products in other peoples stores
Perfect for anyone that has large-volume dealers for their products, or sells in their local communities, Store Locator will let you tag an unlimited amount of stores on your website.
Let's use Saxx Underwear as an example. They have a beautifully set up "store locator" page which lists all the stores that sell their products.
All you have to do is create a store group to make it easier for your customers to search.
You can even replace the pins on the map with a custom image. It's a fun way to dress up your page, PLUS it can help your customers find exactly what they're looking for.
Using Silver Hills as the example again, you could use a loaf of bread for all the locations that only sell bread products, or a bagel as the pin for locations that only sell bagels. Or just use your logo to add a little splash of color to the page.
You get the picture.
Free map markers and pins for your store!
While changing your pins is a cool feature, if you're like me, you might be a bit "artistically challenged."
That's why we got one of our designers to make some pins for you to use! Just enter your email address below and your computer will automatically download 30 pins for you to use.
And if you don't see what you're looking for, you can always design your own pins using this awesome tool (but give ours a peek first 😉).
Related locations + areas of interest
Did you know that 55% of consumers would pay more for a better customer experience?
Every interaction, no matter how big or small, can have a lasting impression on a customer. And an easy way to make a big impression on your clients is to give them something they didn't even know they wanted, a little added value to their time on your store.
If you sell dog toys, you can use Store Locator to tag dog parks in major cities across the country so customers know where they can take their pets to enjoy their new toys they just purchased on your site.
Sell band tees? Tag concert venues.
Sell ski's and snowboards? Tag ski hills or locations to get your snowboard tuned up.
Hiking equipment? Tag National Parks. Bonus points if you use cute tree pins for each location like the map above.
It's so much easier than listing them all out online. Plus with store locator you can upload unlimited locations to your Shopify Store with our bulk import tool, so there's no limit to the number of locations you can tag.
If you have a retail store
It's a no-brainer to use a store locator app on your website to help your customers find your retail locations.
Store Locator sets up a page on your Shopify store for you, where your customers can easily search for you by address, ZIP, or any other search parameter you like, with the results showing up on an interactive map with all their details.
It can show related information such as operating hours, address, phone number, driving directions; just about anything you want.
It can even help you find YOUR customers
The app can show you a heat map report of where your customers are searching for you or your products.
This will give you priceless information about where there's demand for your brand, product, or store, and help you create highly target ads.
Plus don't forget about all the Facebook retargeting ads you'll be able to run!
Set up a store locator page on your Shopify store
If you're looking for a powerful and customizable Store Locator app that can do everything we talked about here, then check out Bold Store locator on the Shopify app store.
It's extremely user friendly, and you can literally have it up and running on your store in just one day.
New features include:
- Add unlimited locations. Even if your products are sold in over 10,000 stores nationwide, you can still tag them all.
- Manually enter, or bulk import stores.
- Drop pin overrides & customizations. Move any store's pin exactly where you want it. Plus you can use any image you want for your pins. (For example, your store's icon)
- Custom search filters. Create any search filters you want so your customers see only the results they're looking for. See it live here.
- Custom fields. Add ANY fields you want to your locations. Hours, website link, store manager's name, etc.
- Built in real-time distance calculator. Drag your location to a new spot on the map and it will recalculate on the fly.
- Completely customizable and white-labeled. Customize everything about the way it looks to make it feel exactly like your store's branding.
Try Bold Store Locator for FREE!
Download the app from the Shopify App Store to try it yourself FREE FOR 30 DAYS.
Let us know a cool way you've used a store locator in the comments below!