#PlaceConf: Driving Retail Foot Traffic with Product Inventory Data
September 13, 2018 | Contributed by: Michael Carini
We’ve all read the headlines of the retail apocalypse and Amazon’s unstoppable disruption of the space. But according to Lastmile Retail and Yext, their work with a major telecom carrier paints a very different picture that highlights a key advantage that brick and mortar retailers can leverage online to fight back – their in store inventory.
Today at the LSA’s Place Conference in New York City, Lastmile and Yext presenter a combined solution that dynamically populates local inventory and offerings in both first-page local search results and retail store locators.
These results link high intent local shoppers to a fill “digital storefront” browse and buy experience that according to Lastmile, “Gives shoppers exactly the information and tools they need to make a purchase and results in as much as a 5x lift in conversion rates.”
The presenters believe that these results were made possible by closely matching the context of a shoppers search or store finder visit with locally relevant content, rather than trying to force local shoppers to engage with a generic e-commerce promotions.
Yext went on to frame the significance of this approach going forward – “As new channels like voice rise and directories become less significant as sources of traffic and leads, its critical for retailers to stay ahead and reach shoppers as their search habits evolve.”
A final benefit of the local inventory focused approach the presenters covered was around reporting. While local presence management optimization has been extremely successful in increasing local reach, it is often difficult to link the store finder or map engagement with either online or in store purchase.
By linking Yext’s presence management and store locator efforts to the stores inventory, Lastmile is able to link together the discovery and purchase portions of the customer journey, unlocking a holistic picture of online and offline impact down to the store and region level.
Thinking about what this approach could mean for retail, the LSA’s own Greg Sterling issued a provocative challenge – “This is the way you compete with Amazon”. Lastmile and Yext mirrored the sentiment, concluding with a hopefully message to retailers, “Instead of trying to beat Amazon at their own game, these results show that retailers can use their unique advantage – their physical proximity to the customer to compete and win.”