Locator software is an essential part of the tech stack for many multi-location businesses, and it’s often rightfully seen as an important investment.
Then comes the competing priority to cut costs and save money. It’s tempting to consider using custom store or dealer locator software, whether you build it in-house or outsource the development to outside software engineers.
The custom software development market is expected to grow by $38 billion from 2022 to 2026, reflecting the fact that bespoke tech solutions will only increase in popularity. Besides cost savings, many companies feel only custom tech can meet their unique needs.
Your development team or company leaders might think every piece of software, including your store or dealer locator, should be built in-house. However, it’s not always the best way forward.
Here, we’ll explain why going with a proven solution like Bullseye is often better than building your own custom locator.
1. Software Updates
One of the frustrations you’ll quickly run into with in-house software is having to make updates, and knowing when to do so.
A survey by 0patch found 58% of businesses run on “legacy systems” that run on unsupported platforms and would be costly to update. Any multi-location enterprise insisting on a custom locator can end up in this predicament.
As your business grows and evolves, your store or dealer locator will have to evolve along with it to keep your brand competitive. That means ensuring the locator plays nicely with new online business platforms, social media outlets, and industry-standard workflows as time rolls along.
This can go from being difficult to impossible with a custom locator. Your tech team will have to devote lots of time and resources to staying on top of trends and making manual updates, if not complete overhauls of the code. All of this can quickly eat into your IT budget and distract from other tech priorities.
There’s a better way. You can go with proven, regularly-updated locator-building software from an established player in the arena, like Bullseye.
Bullseye is a premium cloud SaaS platform that remains consistently up-to-date, thanks to a vigilant, dedicated team of experts who focus around the clock on its stability and functionality. It will always work well with the latest CMS releases, sparing you the headaches that can come with linking custom software to your site’s architecture.
You can have confidence in an industry leader that’s always investing in maintaining the highest usability standards in location search. Rather than bleeding money to keep pace with a custom-built app, relying on Bullseye can take the worry of constant updates off your shoulders.
Security threats are a glaring problem with many in-house web solutions.
A few stats gathered by PurpleSec reveal the enormity of the problem:
- Enterprises experience an average of 130 security breaches per year and per organization.
- Companies saw annual cybersecurity costs increase by 22.7% in 2021.
- Enterprises needed 50 days on average to resolve insider attacks and 23 to recover from ransomware breaches.
A custom locator only increases your brand’s vulnerability online. Why?
For one, your developers can miss implementing special attributes that defend against ransomware, phishing, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, and other threats.
Additionally, since consumers often interact with locators by clicking on links and entering personal data, your developers might inadvertently create a locator vulnerable to deceptive URL redirects and customer data swipes.
In this case, bots or malicious actors might be able to steal your web visitors’ contact info, while snooping on real-life user locations and web activity. Outcomes for your users can include spam, trojan horse viruses…and in a worst-case scenario, identity theft.
Using a proven, secure solution like Bullseye avoids this. Along with regular updates and security patches, Bullseye’s forms will only collect minimal user data without storing or mishandling individual IP addresses. You can rest assured your customers will be safe, because Bullseye adheres to industry-standard privacy protocols.
Bullseye also allows for secure user access across your organization, ensuring only designated staff can make important changes to your locator.
Few things hurt the web user experience more than a website that just won’t work. This is even more true when users are ready to buy. High-intent consumers can easily be discouraged from making a purchase if a locator fails to serve up the info they need.
With a custom locator, you run the risk of this very problem. If unexpected bugs crop up and hamper your site’s functionality, your users might be treated to such annoyances as 404 “resource not found” errors, broken map integrations, and infinite refresh loops.
If they’re hungry for a solution now, many of your best prospects could leave your site and turn to a competitor who offers similar products and a more responsive, easier-to-use locator. Yet again, using a reliable platform like Bullseye removes this issue.
Part of the Bullseye advantage is that we’ve been refining the software for many years to eliminate every kind of error and issue imaginable. A Bullseye-built locator will let you drive traffic to your stores and dealers 24/7 without having to worry about things suddenly “breaking” and inconveniencing your site visitors.
4. User Experience
One of the cornerstones of increasing online sales from your store or dealer locator is ensuring a consistently good user experience and user interface (UX/UI).
Today’s high-intent online consumers are discerning and even a little impatient with their online buying journeys. As many as 88% of shoppers simply won’t return to a website that offers a bad user experience.
That means your locator not only has to work and be bug-free: it should be a pleasure to use. By building your own, it’s easy to leave out key UX/UI elements that are known to increase web visitor retention and sales.
Some of these elements — especially important to customers looking up local stores, outlets, or retail establishments to buy your products from — include:
- A pleasant, functional, on-brand design
- A fast-loading locator page and list of results
- A responsive integrated map with clear visual details
- Indicators of the next step to take (whether that’s “clicking to call” or requesting more info from a certain store)
It’s difficult for an in-house or remote development team to get all the details right the first time around. For that reason, custom locators can really end up driving customers away, costing lots of sales in the process.
If you care about your users’ experience and understand its importance to your online sales funnels, going with Bullseye makes sense.
Bullseye-built locators offer a top-notch user experience, while letting you customize the design and provide enhanced search listings so your prospects feel supported and catered to.
5. Flexibility and Scalability
You expect your business to grow. That means your locator must rise to meet the demand. Custom solutions often struggle to do so.
That’s because if your business expands to hundreds or thousands of locations, or even builds an international presence, it can be difficult to keep all of your location data updated with in-house software.
It can be a huge drain on staff to manually check on the accuracy of retail and dealer business info — not to mention capture all the complexities of selling in new markets and employing new sales processes — all while maintaining an ideal flow for customers.
Additionally, as your business expands, you might need support for more languages, a more-sophisticated map, and more search filters to accurately reflect all the product and service offerings you want customers to know about.
If that sounds overwhelming, it is…but not if you use Bullseye, a solution known for its flexibility and scalability.
Bullseye offers customized solutions that can meet the needs of your specific business, whether that involves new directions in web design, the need for search filters, or an international location search experience that will make sense for your customers and business partners overseas.
If you can anticipate needing more than a one-size-fits-all solution, Bullseye is the one platform that fits the bill and can actually keep pace with your growing enterprise.
Want to Avoid the Limitations of a Custom Store or Dealer Locator? Use Bullseye
Your locator is a critical leverage point in your online presence. It pays to get it right!
While a custom solution might seem to take all of the unique needs and quirks of your business into account, it can simply be too risky. The security, functionality, and UX/UI pitfalls are often too great…all for software that won’t be easy to modify or update when your business is ready to take new ground.
If you want a locator that’s assured to work, no matter what your branding, customer outreach, and business expansion goals are, consider Bullseye.
As the #1 store and dealer locator software in the industry, Bullseye is your solution for crafting a great end user experience, staying on top of the latest integrations and security standards, and ultimately driving more eager consumers to the cash register.
Want to see how Bullseye can give you everything you’ll ever need in a locator?
Schedule a free assessment of your current solution today!