In today’s digital age, we are moving more and more to an omnichannel buying experience and the lines between e-commerce and brick-and-mortar have become blurry. Now, you can buy products online and pick up your order in the local store. Some stores offer the possibility to order in-store products/or colours that might not be in stock (anymore) and have them delivered to your home, or you can order an item online and try it on in your local store. The buying process has never had more start-to-end touchpoints.
Other entrepreneurs have seen a forced shift from traditional brick-and-mortar to an omnichannel approach when the Corona epidemic closed many stores, bars and restaurants; to survive it was necessary to sell online and offer takeaway or delivery. Companies came up with completely new hybrid concepts that integrate online and offline. Lots of those stores, restaurants, lunchrooms etc. have held on to this more client-centric model where the end consumer decides where, how and when to buy.
This is where Google My Business often gets overlooked. Traditionally looked at as a tool for brick-and-mortar locations only, this powerful platform can significantly impact your e-commerce success by increasing your visibility, building trust with customers, and driving more traffic to your website and local store.
In this article, we will explore the importance of Google My Business in an omnichannel approach, focusing on e-commerce and how it can help you thrive in the competitive online marketplace.
Choose your primary category wisely
If your focus is on creating online sales, check which categories Google gives priority to when it comes to online sales. For example, if you are the owner of a lunchroom it is likely that as a primary category you have chosen ‘lunchroom’. However, performing a search for ‘lunch delivery Milan’ it could well be that you see Google links delivery to other categories. When performing such a check for one of our clients (which is a lunchroom/bakery), we found that the first results in the map pack or Google were from locations with the primary category ‘Sandwich shop’. Google seems to link ‘Sandwich shop’ more to online ordering and delivery than ‘lunchroom’ in this case.
Focus on Review management of ordering experience
Customers value transparency and credibility when making online purchasing decisions. Having a Google My Business listing helps establish trust by displaying authentic customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials. Positive reviews from satisfied customers can boost your credibility and encourage potential customers to choose your (e-commerce) store over competitors. Responding to reviews promptly and professionally also demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction, further building trust in your brand. When a customer searches for delivery/ordering online services, Google will pull up reviews that are about online ordering and delivery like in the example below searching for ‘bookshop London delivery’ Google gives priority in showing reviews about the delivery service. Make sure that you get your customers to review not only their visit to your local store but also the ordering and delivery experience.
Describe your service and use Q&A’s
Google My Business allows you to describe your business. Clearly state what your business offers, not only as a place to visit in person but also to order online, have home delivery, or in-store pick-up etc. Also, the section Q&A is useful to clarify your omnichannel concept. Think of some questions your clients might have and precompile part of the Q&A section.
Location profile completeness
Make sure your profile has all the information and attributes regarding ordering and delivery services complete. Google profiles give you the option to add delivery hours next to opening hours. You can add service areas to indicate where you deliver, you can also specify if you offer take-out, delivery, curb-side pick-up, drive-thru, etc. Go through your attributes and complete them with the correct information.
Don't forget videos and photos
Have a photo of your delivery van? Is an e-commerce order well-packed? Don’t forget to add them in your photo section and name the photo or video something like ‘fast-pizza-delivery-milan.jpg’ for example. Not only could it help position your Google profile higher, but potential clients also look at the photos of your products before deciding whether to buy them. Why not give them extra confidence by showing off your excellent delivery service in images?
Measure your GMB impact with Business Insights and Analytics
Google My Business provides valuable insights and analytics about your online presence. You can access data on how customers find and interact with your business listing, including the keywords they searched for, the number of clicks, phone calls, website visits, and direction requests. These insights allow you to make data-driven decisions to optimise your e-commerce strategy, refine your marketing efforts, and improve your overall customer experience.
In the highly competitive e-commerce landscape, Google My Business is a vital tool for boosting your online presence, attracting customers, and driving sales. By leveraging this free platform, you can enhance your visibility, build trust with customers, and gain a competitive advantage. Take advantage of Google My Business to optimise your local SEO, engage with customers, and stay ahead of the competition in the dynamic world of e-commerce. Embrace the power of Google My Business and propel your online business to new heights of success.