ShopKeep is adding the Yext Knowledge Manager to its point-of-sale and analytics platform for small businesses to help give its clients’ customers real-time details on store locations, hours of operation, menus/inventory, and contact info.
In essence, the alliance will let the 24,000 retailers, restaurants, and stores whose digital cash registers and payment systems are powered by ShopKeep to help keep their customers updated on when those cash registers are available.
On top of that, store owners and managers using ShopKeep can rapidly assess the accuracy and consistency of key information that consumers see online via Yext’s network, which includes info across Google, Apple, Facebook, Bing, Yahoo, and more. [Full disclosure: Yext is GeoMarketing‘s parent company. More details on that relationship here]
“The online presence of our small business merchants is crucial to their success, as search engine results and other digital destinations increasingly serve as consumers’ first point of contact with a store or restaurant,” said Etie Hertz, ShopKeep’s CRO.
What It Means: Digital Presence And The Knowledge Graph
Digital Presence Management — the process of ensuring that all vital brick-and-mortar store info (the aforementioned details involving a business’s address, phone, email, hours — and the use of location technology that determines the accuracy of much of that information, is more than just points on a smartphone’s map app.
Whether it’s The Home Depot assisting and digitally informing its employees and customers at dozens of its stores affected by October’s devastating hurricanes, or Snap extending the use of its location-centric Context Cards to its Snapchat Filter and Lens ad products, Digital Presence and Knowledge Graph info is paramount to make all info-sharing actionable and accurate.
As GeoMarketing’s Lauryn Chamberlain writes, “the Knowledge Graph was popularized by Google, which launched the Google Knowledge Graph back in 2012 in a bid to provide users with structured answers to their queries — not just blue links.”
The Knowledge Graph “understands” facts about places, people, and things, and it uses this information to give more relevant information to searchers, Chamberlain writes. This Knowledge Graph ultimately refers to getting structured answers on the web that, through algorithms, become smarter over time.
“Managing the digital knowledge about a store or restaurant right from the POS system is a game-changer for small businesses, as they are too busy running their business to spend much time on their digital footprint,” said Jonathan Cherins, EVP of Small Business and Partner at Yext. “It makes it seamless for a merchant to ensure business information is correct online by changing things from one central tool, whether it’s uploading a new photo, changing a restaurant menu if they run out of an ingredient, or even updating store hours at the last minute everywhere a customer might look for them. The integration lets locations drive foot traffic by providing better information to consumers.”
Tech Arms Race Heats Up
ShopKeep alludes to a SMBs need to “technology arms businesses” with powerful tools to increase their revenue.
A merchant with a physical store can use the integration to build its digital presence and ultimately reach people in their “micro-moment” of decision
The technology also gives businesses the ability to manage promotions and discounts via the POS system, publish them online, and track return on investment. And by tracking analytics within the ShopKeep Back Office interface, businesses can optimize their offerings based on what items are selling, reflecting these menu changes online in near-real time to maximize profit.
“In a highly competitive market, being found when a customer is searching online is essential, but it’s only half the battle. Up-to-date information online can make or break a small business, and is essential to making sure customers know you have what they’re looking for and when you’re open,” added Cherins. “This integration puts digital knowledge management seamlessly into the day-to-day operations of the store, making it easy for busy small businesses to handle.”