We’ve all been there, right? Ever visited a store that’s already closed, or call a store that’s supposed to be open and go un-answered?
Over the August bank holiday, we took it upon ourselves to review whether or not brands would update their opening hours.
When checking the opening hours, we used the brands’ GMB listings.
We checked various brands across a number of verticals on Google and Apple maps.
- Fashion retail
- Kitchen showrooms
- Postal delivery service
- Gym & leisure
- Hardware retail
- Auto parts/care
While these are all vitally important verticals, we thought that at the very least kitchens and furniture showrooms would keep updated, seeing as the bank holiday weekend is typically seen as a time to lose the will to live while looking at a new sofa/bed/kitchen unit /tiles etc.
Of all the brands we checked, a whopping 85% didn’t update their opening hours on search engines, and in some cases, they didn’t even update their own site.
This is basic business hygiene and highlights the gap, or lack of synergy, between ecommerce and retail operations.
Changes in how users search
Some brands didn’t even have a listing on Apple. According to Google, 20% of mobile searches within their app are by voice – given the number of iPhone’s in the market this, can only mean that Siri is becoming more important.
If you ask any CEO if it is acceptable for their opening hours to be wrong online, they would say absolutely not.
Filter down to the ecommerce team – while this has no bearing on their ecommerce revenue or ROI targets, 9 out of 10 times they control and manage this data.
Go one step further and ask the retail team if this is acceptable and you’re likely to start a war between departments. This could be a good thing – after war comes peace and harmony.
Not updating opening hours online is no different to having the wrong opening hours on your front door. In fact, it’s much worse because a user will have to make the effort of travelling to the store to find it’s closed. This can have a hugely negative impact on brand perception.
Management of store information
It isn’t easy for brands to manage their local data across numerous platforms, especially when they have over 100 stores.
With local activity being neglected from a digital perspective, it’s no surprise that these brands do not respond to local customer reviews. If the data was kept up to date and phone calls answered, it would go some way to protect the brand from negative reviews.
Customer comments and reviews are answered when left on a brand’s Facebook page, but local reviews are often ignored. While this could be down to a lack of visibility, the impact of this on store footfall and revenue can be huge. For instance, a recent study by the Harvard Business School found that a one star increase in reputation can lead to a 5-9% increase in revenue.
This wall between ecommerce and retail is completely artificial and does not exist in the mind of the consumer. The longer these functions run as silos the more money is left on the table.
Brands can’t afford to ignore local for too much longer. Local search is here to stay, so the faster brands break down those silos and embrace the local channel, the better.