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How Location Presence Management Answers The ‘Why’ Before The ‘Buy’

Inconsistent online information about a local business is one of the main reasons consumers choose one store over another, a survey by YP and Thrive Analytics found.

Figuring out “why” consumers shop at one location versus another often comes down to understanding the factors that cause people to reject a store in the first place.

High prices is the chief reason a consumer turns away from one business to consider another shop, a survey by YP and Thrive Analytics found, with 62 percent saying cost would send them searching for someplace else to purchase a product.

The online survey of 5,418 people also pointed to five other specific reasons not to shop at a particular store. And those five factors all fall under the rubric of location presence management.

Reasons for Rejection

The reasons YP survey respondents listed as “why nots” include: negative ratings and reviews (55 percent), inconsistent information from one place to the next (37 percent), inaccurate information on a business’s website (37 percent), wrong contact information listed online (32 percent), no testimonials, ratings and reviews (27 percent) and no photos or videos of the business (17 percent).

“Businesses often have limited control over prices, but they have total control about how accurate and accessible information about finding their business is,” says Holly Bowyer, YP’s VP of portfolio marketing.  “And if you have negative ratings and reviews, you can start to respond to those comments. And you can make sure that your address, contact information, hours, and inventory, and other attributes can be found easily online.”

If a business has inconsistent or wrong information, the loss of that consumer’s spending isn’t just a one-time problem, Bowyer notes. It represents a basic loss of trust that another brand can capture and retain.

“A strong digital presence is critical to connecting local businesses with consumers wherever they are, on whatever device they’re using,” says YP CMO Allison Checchi. “This research shows that consumers won’t even consider a business that has an inaccurate or incomplete online presence and that businesses are missing out on opportunities if they don’t have basic information and contextual content.”

Zigging And Zagging

YP has explored the ways consumers zig-zag from device to device, platform to platform, online-to-offline when searching for products and services.  The fragmented customer journey makes it harder than ever for brands to be where local consumers are looking and to gauge success.

The survey found that 64 percent of consumers “hop” from one device to another, with smartphones playing a role at some point in the search process.

“There are still a number of people who start a search on a desktop and then move and migrate into the mobile phone,” Bowyer says. “That percentage is going to be higher and higher as we continue on. And that means mobile phones are a necessity. If you don’t have a mobile plan by now, and you’re not optimized for mobile searching, you’re going to lose out on business. It’s become an established way of shopping: people are using that smartphone to make those quick decisions based on where they are.”