Help Customers Shop Local – make your products easy to find

We are going to talk about how important it is for your business to be found online, Amazon isn’t going anywhere, and it’s making it easier for consumers to lay in bed to shop rather than buy locally. If you have a small business, the internet is impacting you!

Check out our Facebook page because there have been some changes for local businesses. Even for me, Facebook is a little frustrating as a business, but it is important to utilize. Businesses do need a broader strategy, and they do need to understand these new channels that may give them access to their customers because you can’t count on any one channel. Google My Business is a competitor to your site if you don’t use it right. We will go over that later but for now, check out our Facebook page because this is big news.

I would like to go over an experience that I had last week. As Google says when it’s going to test a theory, eat your own dog food.  I decided that there was something I wanted to buy in my town and I was going to find it locally. It was a knife sharpening stone. I didn’t want anything specific. We go to the first store which happened to be a sporting goods shop, and we couldn’t find any of the items we were looking for, including the sharpening stone. My wife goes to her phone and says, “Joe there could be one here in two days on Amazon for 6 dollars.” I said I wanted to find one locally and asked her to Google and find one, but we couldn’t find anything online.

Several stores and about 4 hours later, we still haven’t found a knife sharpening stone and my wife asks if she should just buy one online. I explained that I had put myself in the shoes of the buyer as opposed to the business and it opened my eyes. I’m wondering why can’t these stores have their inventory in stock so I could find it? Even if when I searched I found a stores inventory online that would have done it for me. When we go to these stores, we receive no help. The clerks aren’t sure where they are or if they even have them in stock.

The entire time I am looking at my phone knowing that I could have that knife sharpening stone in 2 days for $6 no hassle and as a buyer, I’m obviously going to opt for that method. I’m wondering why this has to be so hard and am thinking maybe sharpening stones aren’t that important. I double checked how many people are looking for a knife sharpening stone, sharpening stone, knife sharpening, and things like that. 12000 people a month are looking for those things in my area.

An interesting little experiment that you could do would be to throw up a website there locally. Add keywords like the name of your town and the words “knife sharpening”, how would it do when searched on Google? There would be no local competition.

Well, that’s part of what I was wondering is it seems to me like there’s a more investigative project here to start figuring out are companies being found for the products and services they offer? What would a consumer look for?

It also occurred to me that when we’re talking about being found, I think sometimes we fail to recognize that it isn’t all about the company. It’s about the actual product people are looking for. When a client wants a camper shell for a truck, are they being found for that specific thing on the radio or online? If the customer is looking for specific model or design, does the company help them find hat they need?

Brand loyalty tends to be more important on a macro scale because you can be dealing with more expensive products for one; For two, it is things you buy on a regular basis; For three, there can be a large chorus of voices possibly saying that they’re being screwed over by the situation. When you get into a local environment, brand awareness becomes less prominent. Although I think it’s growing for people.

Where I feel frustrated is that I have spent my time looking for a stone in various stores when I could purchase one for $6 at the click of my device. I wasted my time in stores who don’t even care enough about the product, or its customers need for that product to put it online. Now I’m not saying they don’t care, but that’s the feeling I was having. I just wonder how many customers are feeling that same thing and how many businesses aren’t meeting that expectation.

Amazon isn't going anywhere, and it's making it easier for consumers to lay in bed to shop rather than buy locally. If you have a small business, the internet is impacting you, make sure your business is being found!