As a building materials manufacturer, you’ll have some web visitors who are on a simple mission: to buy your products as soon as possible.
They are seeking out the dealers closest to them…and before they know it, they’re looking at your dealer map.
You might have a map on your site that pinpoints the locations of all your dealers. That’s a nice start, but modern consumers are used to an even higher level of convenience. If your map doesn’t help customers learn key facts about local shops and services, product availability, and more, it could actually be hurting the whole user experience.
It’s time to step up to today’s consumer expectations for the “Where to Buy” part of your website. Here, we’ll share more about what critical features your dealer map might be missing, and what you can do to improve.
Why Your Dealer Map Might Need Attention
Your dealer map might be only doing the bare minimum of showing your customers a visual of the physical locations of your dealers.
If it’s just a static, embedded image, or even a Google Map integration without more helpful context, rest assured: you’re letting customers down and leaving a lot of revenue on the table.
Here are three factors that explain why:
You may be aware of the “Amazon Effect.” Namely, it refers to how Amazon, the eCommerce conglomerate, has permanently changed what everyday shoppers want out of their online interactions with brands.
In 2021, Amazon captured 56.7% of all US eCommerce sales. Also, 61% of all American consumers are known to start their product searches on Amazon. Clearly, the tech giant’s influence looms large over common buying habits.
For one, customers now expect to hone in on the product they need in just a few clicks, rather than with a painstaking, drawn-out search. They’re also used to receiving the products they want in a day or two, thanks to the super-fast delivery offered by the Amazon Prime subscription service.
As a building materials manufacturer, how does this apply to your business? It all comes down to your dealer map, the main attraction of your locator page.
To stand a chance of winning in the convenience arena, your map should have all the modern enhancements to:
- Help customers hone in on the exact products they need, with assurance that they’re locally in stock, and
- Make it easy for them to buy as soon as possible, thanks to accurate, detailed local business info, as well as online retail options if any exist.
Do this, and you’ll be far ahead of building material manufacturers who can only offer a static, unhelpful map.
A made-for-you experience is what customers crave in the modern era. According to McKinsey, 71% of consumers want personalized interactions with the companies they buy from.
Just like Amazon recommends additional merchandise based on past purchases and search activity, you should create a similar dynamic with your dealer map.
If your map does its job of actually understanding the customer’s needs and pointing them to the right solution, product line, or value-added service, they’ll feel like your company actually cares.
They’ll also remember how easy it is to do business with your brand online.
As the building materials manufacturing pie grows bigger, your brand will have to do all it can to keep up.
According to ReportLinker, the worldwide building materials market size is projected to reach $302 billion in 2022 and grow to reach $398 billion by 2027. As part of that industry growth, more building materials manufacturers will get savvy about marketing to gain an edge in market share.
Making adjustments in your digital approach, such as implementing a more feature-rich dealer map, will be crucial to make in order to meet customers where they are. Otherwise, they’ll likely go to competing brands who can provide a better user experience.
5 Ways to Upgrade Your Dealer Map to Today’s Standards
By now, you know your dealer map should never be just a map. It should be a complete experience.
Your map should give customers every bit of info they require to choose the right merchant or local service provider, depending on their specific needs and circumstances.
The very best tech solution for helping you achieve this is none other than Bullseye. As the #1 dealer map and locator software for building materials companies, Bullseye lets you create a map that goes far beyond the basics.
For one, Bullseye provides a responsive, fully-interactive Google Maps integration, allowing users to drag the map to show dealers who are outside their immediate area.
Bullseye also provides richly-detailed listings that take away all the guesswork for consumers, including always-accurate business hours, inventory, special deals and promotions, the ability to reach out to dealers and installers, and lots more.
That makes your dealer map and locator a one-stop shop for all the info customers need before they shop!
Here’s how you can use Bullseye to make your map the personalized, convenient experience it should be:
1. Use Geolocation Detection
Your map can help customers instantly, without delay. How? By detecting where they’re located and pointing to nearby dealers right out of the gate.
With geolocation detection, which is commonplace on today’s devices with app integrations like Google Maps, your customers don’t have to type in an address or zip code to find the right dealer…or worse, dig through your site to determine if there’s a nearby dealer at all.
Instead, they can seamlessly continue their shopping experience as they move through your website. Geolocation detection ensures that minimal or no input is needed from them to get driving directions to the closest dealer.
2. Be Fully Transparent About Local Stock
Customers also care about whether the products they want are actually in stock at the dealer they’re thinking about visiting.
In a survey of about 2,000 retail websites, OrderDynamics found that only 38% of retailers show basic inventory info on their product pages. This is a big opportunity for you to do what many other building material manufacturers and retailers haven’t yet caught on to.
Letting your customers know products are in stock at a certain dealer saves them time, spares them from doing the extra homework of calling around, and helps them appreciate your brand much more.
3. Add SEO Content That Profiles Local Dealers and Contractors
If you’re undertaking a complex DIY project, renovation, or installation, you don’t want to buy home and building products from any random store — you want the right dealer. Preferably one you won’t mind visiting again when another need arises.
According to BrightLocal’s 2022 Local Consumer Review Survey, 99% of consumers used the internet to find info about a local business in 2021, and most of them are using Google.
Now, your site can be that depot for helpful business info.
Right in the listings next to your map, Bullseye allows you to link to detailed, search keyword-optimized content pages for each dealer or contract. Those pages can describe the dealer’s specialties, certifications, extra services, events, and other facts that building material customers would love to know about.
This not only boosts the high-intent organic traffic to your website from Google, but gives buyers more context for the store or local pro they’re about to visit, and more confidence in the purchase they’re about to make.
4. Show Customer Reviews
People love hearing about the experiences of other shoppers before they spend their hard-earned money. Reviews are popular because reading them is one of the best ways for consumers to preview the buying experience.
In the same 2022 BrightLocal survey mentioned before, consumer usage of Google to evaluate local businesses jumped from 63% in 2020 up to 81% in 2021. Your dealer map, and the locator or product pages that host it, should keep up.
Bullseye is your ally again here. Your Bullseye-built dealer listings can automatically display reviews and ratings, sourced from sites like Google and Yelp.
Just adding reviews will give consumers more assurance about their local dealer selection, and will in turn produce more sales of your products.
5. Allow Customers to Submit Inquiries
When customers have questions, why not give them an easy way to ask?
Whether it’s to ask for a quote on an installation or appraisal, request a sample, or have a purchase fully specified by local experts, modern customers appreciate being able to make contact with a nearby dealer or contractor right within the Where-to-Buy page containing your map and retailer listings.
Here’s where Bullseye truly shines: as it provides for inquiry submissions, it enables both you and your local partners to capture leads.
Thanks to the simple lead capture forms you can generate, it’s easy to collect your buyers’ contact information, ensure you won’t lose track of them as they go on to make a purchase, and follow up with them to make relevant offers and provide personalized service.
With Bullseye, you can also monitor which leads are being sent to which dealers, and track the resulting sales. This gives you lots of leverage and goodwill with local partners, while turning your dealer map into a crucial business intelligence tool.
To Serve Today’s Building Materials Customers, Ensure Your Dealer Map is Up-To-Date
Before a customer takes time out of their day, gets into their car, and drives to their local building materials dealer or hardware store, they want to know they’re making the right choice.
A feature-rich dealer map can, and should be, the touchstone of a customer’s search for the right dealer. Paired with an excellent dealer locator or Where-to-Buy page, a properly enhanced dealer map will make your customers comfortable enough to go ahead and complete the purchase now…not to mention buying more in the future.
If you want to achieve this, give Bullseye a try. Bullseye’s cutting-edge capabilities will yield a dealer map that’s responsive, helpful, and useful for any customer who comes across your website and is ready to buy.
Ready to see how it all works? Schedule your demo of Bullseye today.