2 December, 2019

Optimise your retail operations with Google Maps this Christmas

By Deepika Raj, Account Manager, Liveli. 

December is arguably the most important trading month of the year for retailers. And now, by leveraging location intelligence, customer experiences can be enhanced to grow revenue and brand loyalty.

Christmas is first and foremost about making the people important to you feel special. The good news for retailers is that Google Maps can help you do exactly this for your customers. From helping customers find the most optimal route to their nearest store, or ensuring they receive their purchases in time for Christmas morning - taking a few simple steps to optimise your Google Maps business listings can make all the difference for your sales revenue this Christmas.

So how can Google Maps strengthen your brand engagement for the online-to-offline customer journey?

Store locators

It's well known that online shopping is becoming the purchase method of choice for consumers, but there’s still about half the population who prefer the experience of walking into a brick and mortar store. The key to increasing traffic from the web into your store is by letting customers know the store is close by and that you have what they’re looking for.
 
Creating a map to show the location of your stores helps to provide an easy navigation experience. There’s no better feeling for a customer than to walk into a store and get exactly what they need or want. Something as simple as updating your inventory to reflect product availability at certain locations allows your customers enter the store where their preferred product or service is definitely available. 

This Christmas, Google has released a new guide with step-by-step instructions to display your store locations. The guide shows you how to implement additional features like business icons and highlighted markers.  

Places Autocomplete

It’s common for people to hurriedly input destinations on Google Maps when they are in a rush. However, Google’s ability to return the right search results with Places Autocomplete saves the day for time-poor users.  

Address entry for shipping or billing information can be a tedious and complex task,  not having a system in place to rectify hastily entered incorrect addresses at your online checkout can increase shipping errors and delay package delivery times.

To make the checkout process easier for your customers, Google Maps address autocomplete service helps e-Commerce websites by offering a “type-ahead” option. Autocomplete kicks into gear when your customer starts to enter their address - it does the rest of the work for them. 

Last-mile delivery

Ensuring the time taken from a product purchase, to it leaving the warehouse and reaching the customer is optimal- nobody likes a delayed present.  Google Maps helps retailers achieve delivery timeliness by leveraging two key features alongside Places Autocomplete: 

The Distance Matrix API: This is used to identify the nearest fulfilment outlet based on the customer’s own business rules.

The Directions API: Provides a delivery driver with the best route, taking into account real-time traffic and different modes of travel.

There’s nothing more your customer will appreciate in this festive season than an on-time delivery on a last-minute purchase.

Only pay for what you need

Under the Google Maps Platform, businesses now pay for every API call they make. Ensuring that your code is optimised to only make the API calls you definitely need will save valuable business dollars at this busy time of year.

For example, routing APIs deliver two levels of information based on the type of request - basic and advanced. Advanced distance matrix and direction calls that factor in live traffic information are pricier than a basic call. If you do not need to call for live traffic information, you could be saving money.

Liveli runs Google Maps optimisation workshops for businesses who are looking to lower their Google Maps spend each month. Read about our retail clients who decreased their Google Maps bill by 20%.

If you would like Liveli to run an optimisation workshop for your business - get in touch with our team! 

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