Any modern building materials manufacturer will have to future-proof their online sales operation to win. That involves looking beyond the main pages of your website, your online ads, and your email marketing…by optimizing your dealer or contractor locator.
Locators are often ignored, but that’s a mistake. Failure to make yours as good as possible will be costly, because your locator is literally the bridge to the sale.
4 Reasons Why Locators are Important for Online Sales
Employ the tips below to tighten up your digital sales engine, and watch your website garner more high-intent traffic and conversions as a result.
1. They Build Trust
One of the biggest determinants of whether customers will buy from you is the trust factor.
Edelman’s 2019 Trust Barometer report claims that 81% of customers need to trust a brand to even think about buying from it. Now more than ever before, a building materials company should build their dealer or contractor locator with trust signals to earn a customer’s positive sentiment.
Such trust elements should be genuinely helpful to customers as well, helping seal the deal in their minds before they ever show up at a dealer’s cash register.
One way to do this is by displaying customer reviews beside your locator listings. Building materials buyers want to know if a certain dealer or contractor provides excellent service before they pay a visit, and they’ll listen to the opinions of consumers like themselves. Customers will associate highly-reviewed dealers with your brand, and they’ll trust your company more, overall.
Another key trust signal is inventory transparency. Up to 86% of consumers say transparency from the businesses they buy from is more important than ever, according to Sprout Social.
One important way is to give customers visibility into whether your products are in stock at a nearby retail location. Local inventory transparency saves your buyers time and makes their purchasing decisions easier.
It’s one more way consumers can feel your brand is reliable. With honesty and accuracy about whether local items are in stock, your brand will be seen as honest and worth buying from.
You can also be transparent on price in your locator by implementing a project cost calculator. This is a top concern for building product buyers, as the expenses involved in larger projects can balloon quickly. With a cost calculator, you’ll earn your customers’ confidence…and as a byproduct, more online sales.
The key to a trust-building locator? You’ll need the right platform. Specifically, one that lets you easily create locators with cost calculators, reviews, and other sales-boosting features.
For this functionality, look no further than the Bullseye Locator Software.
Bullseye lets you build flexible, responsive, on-brand dealer and contractor locators, complete with customer reviews from Google and Yelp, and links to other interactive features like project calculators, that build trust and genuinely help your customers.
2. They Can Generate Leads
The right locator doesn’t just point to local shops and contractors. It does more.
Your locator, as the digital bridge that takes consumers to the point of sale, should allow you to generate leads.
Lead generation remains a top priority for the majority of marketers, and for good reason: it’s a key component of revenue growth and overall business success. A lead-generating locator can become a crucial leverage point for your online sales strategy.
Here’s where Bullseye wins. It’s a locator platform that was built from the ground up to support lead generation for building product manufacturers.
Bullseye, for example, natively supports the addition of a lead capture form to any locator you build. As customers submit inquiries to contractors or retailers, they become leads that you and your local partners can follow up on.
Not only will you have more insight into customer journeys — you’ll have built a repeatable lead generation system that can yield a growing return on investment from your online presence. With Bullseye, leads to your partners won’t be lost in the weeds, either. You’ll be able to take direct credit for the leads that are sent to your dealers or contractors, providing clarity on the customer journey and accountability between you and your partners.
3. They Contribute to a Great Customer Experience
If it does its job well, your locator should be so easy to use that it practically fades into the background…leaving your customer with a great impression of your brand and a smooth path to completing their purchase.
This is the cornerstone of a great customer experience, and your locator can provide that.
Research quoted by HubSpot shows that customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable than those that aren’t. There are several ways you can provide a top-notch experience throughout your site, within or alongside your locator:
- Use search-optimized profiles of local pros and shops. Information-rich web pages about each dealer or contractor will give your customers an overview of local businesses before they even make contact…making them much more comfortable about driving over to the location.
- Implement a Certified Installer or Preferred Dealer program. By highlighting in your locator the local outlets that are most aligned with your brand and provide exceptional customer support, you’re pointing users towards the best possible buying experience.
- Use chatbots for customer service. More and more, buyers are looking to reach out directly to company staff to ask questions about products or services. Use a chatbot on your site that allows customers to submit their questions right away, and they’ll feel like your brand prioritizes their needs.
A great option for a locator that does all the above is Bullseye.
Bullseye helps you dynamically create hundreds of high-quality content pages for your local listings. These pages are infused with SEO keywords that help pull in organic traffic, while giving your site visitors the information they need to move forward. Bullseye makes it easy to highlight excellent dealers and installers, putting those listings front and center for buyers who are ready to act.
You can also integrate a chatbot throughout your site — as well as on your Bullseye-built locator page — to provide customers with an even more refined, customized buying experience.
There is enormous value in providing everything your site visitor needs to make a purchasing decision in a single, consolidated location. Integrations like Bullseye’s store locator provide a streamlined, branded customer experience, a reduced risk of visitors leaving your site to be exposed to competitors, and an opportunity to build trust amongst your partners. Amazon does this by providing photo galleries, videos, feature descriptions, reviews, and more to allow users to do all of their research on a single page before making a purchasing decision.
4. They Help Drive Brand Loyalty and Repeat Sales
Given the fact that a well-done locator will generate leads, build trust, and provide a superior experience, it’s obvious that it can lay a foundation for long, lucrative relationships with repeat buyers.
Your locator should be a memorable experience for customers who need to make repeat purchases, especially if your brand produces perishable items or products that need to be periodically reordered. For consumers who find themselves purchasing multiple products from your brand, your locator can feel just like “home.”
By building search filters and drop-down selections into your locator, you can appeal to contractors and other professionals who are used to assisting homeowners in specifying and planning projects. Add these partners to your locator and you’ll capture more local market share.
Second, if you collect leads through your locator — which Bullseye allows you to do — you can continually drive customers to events and announce promotions via email.
According to data gathered by SaleCycle, 59% of consumers said that marketing emails influence their buying decisions, and just over 50% buy from promotional emails at least once a month. A collaboration with your local dealers can be very fruitful here.
By incentivizing consumers to come back into the brick-and-mortar stores where they’ve bought before, you’re reinforcing the bond they’ve begun to build with your brand. From there, you can work with dealers on holding seminars and classes for DIY projects, and promoting special sales of your products.
Your locator can help you lay a foundation for customers who bought once to stay aligned with your brand.
Ensure Your Locator Meets the Moment for Stronger Online Building Material Sales
When it comes to selling online consistently, all the parts of your digital presence have to work together as a cohesive whole. That means having a great website, email marketing strategy, and informative content that makes customers feel confident and catered to.
For building materials manufacturers, however, a crucial part of the mix is the dealer or contractor locator. It can and should do more for your business. According to a survey of business leaders by Whizard Strategy:
- 60% want to identify customers to add to their CRM and marketing automation systems
- About 47% said they want to share special offers and events with customers
- 33% want to provide helpful background info about each dealer or contractor to help customers choose the right location
- Around 27% want to track lead status after delivering leads to the dealers, and
- 20% segment customers by importance
Bullseye Helps You Do All of This and More
By building trust, creating a great customer experience, and setting the stage for repeat sales, your locator deserves attention as part of your online sales engine. Bullseye achieves it all, while remaining the #1 choice to help building materials manufacturers generate leads.
Because Bullseye was created with all those key business goals in mind, while supporting modern integrations with leading CRMs, email marketing platforms, and more, a Bullseye-built locator just might be the missing piece of your online sales puzzle.
Ready to see the business-boosting power of a premium locator solution? Schedule a demo of Bullseye today.