At this point, search is already on the move. Once solely performed from a desktop computer, now, with the emergence and explosion of mobile devices, people search for anything, from anywhere, anytime they want.
What that means is that some of the affordable SEO services that are already crucial to growing any business, are gaining even more value. Walmart has unveiled what could be the beginning of the next big thing, and what could be the future of the in-store shopping experience.
The giant retail corporation recently updated their app to improve on the in-store experience of their shoppers. They’re calling it the Search My Store feature, and it could change the way people shop in stores forever.
So, let’s go over some of the basics about the new feature, what it means for SEO, and how you can prepare for the storm that’s brewing so that, when it comes, you won’t drown, but grow.
What’s it all about anyway?
The concept is a no-brainer really. As mobile technology continues to evolve and grow in popularity and usage, the idea of using it to combine the online shopping experience with the physical, in-store one, seems almost obvious. Luckily, some of the old and affordable SEO services out there can still be valuable tools.
Walmart may have jumped in the water first, but rest assured, the pool will soon be crowded with all kinds of competition. Their feature allows shoppers, in a physical store location, to use product names and keywords to search inventory in real time.
Then, the app returns a list of products, their prices, ratings and reviews, and the exact location within the store where they can be found. The superstore also promises to weave payment and personalization into the feature in the near future.
You’d be surprised how much money is left on the table each year simply because shoppers can’t locate products. Walmart’s even building in ways to build lists so that customers can efficiently navigate the aisles of the store, which can be a huge timesaver.
It’s not just about prices.
It’s not just about the ease of finding products on the right shelves and their prices. It’s also about the capability of Walmart selling ad units in the results for searches performed on the app.
Think about it, you’re in a store, you use the in-store app to locate a laundry detergent, and a couple of ads pop up offering messages and coupons. Customer purchase behavior could be influenced in ways never even imagined by using some of the more affordable SEO services on these new platforms.
Walmart has also added a savings feature that helps customers find out if they’re getting the best price for a given product, and even refunds the difference if a competitor does beat them out.
With these new benefits, customers are encouraged to always scan their receipts. Therefore, new kinds of data sets are available, such as differences in online and offline behavior, or what kinds of complementary products should be offered online, using the knowledge of which ones people are buying in the store.
The online shopping world usually requires sign-ups or some type of data from the potential customer, which they can then use to target specific customers. That becomes a lot more difficult for the in-store experience, but not anymore.
Even physical changes to the store and the rearranging of item placement will be heavily influenced by this new data.
What it all means.
Ultimately, this could mean a merger between the online and offline shopping experience. First off, Walmart’s tweaks have already promoted a more regular use of the app. Many retailers have issues getting people to not just download the app initially, but to remember to use it.
Smart retailers will soon follow Walmart’s path and they’ll start to invent or tweak their apps so that they, too, essentially function as necessary shopping assistants for the in-store experience. New ways to apply old and affordable SEO services to benefit from this new platform will emerge.
The new kind of data that will be made available and the increased trust and loyalty gained from providing customers with features that genuinely help, like a savings catcher, could mean huge things for any business that decides to test these new waters.
It also means more chances to advertise within those search results. And those ads won’t be pure display ads, but results of the customer’s query, meaning the ads will be reaching the right person, who’s also likely close to the point of purchase.
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