Technology has dramatically changed our world in the past few decades. With the rise of the internet and smartphones, we do everything differently now. The most significant change that we have seen is in the way that we find information. Before the internet, if you wanted to go shopping for a new outfit, a new kitchen appliance, or a new lawn mower, you had to go to a physical store and hunt around for the best deal. Toby Scammell, the founder of Womply, says that the advent of local search apps like Yelp and TripAdvisor has flipped how people find small businesses. Nowadays, people use the internet to research their products, to find out where those products are available, and to decide where they want to but them. This is why it’s so essential for small, local businesses to have a strong web presence—so they can compete in the online market.
Local Search Apps
Local search apps have changed the way we find small businesses. If you are looking for a bakery near you, for example, not only can you use a local search app to find a bakery, but you will also be able to read reviews from previous customers and look at photos of the business and examples of their work. Sponsored listings on the apps are recommended to us before all others, and most people don’t ever make it to the second page of search results. Because of this, the businesses that pay to be advertised on these apps or businesses that optimized their listings by location and elicited more reviews will be more visible. As Marc Benioff, Chairman and Co-CEO of Salesforce explains, “Optimizing your site for local search is important in order to be found online by a local audience.” As a result, local search apps are shaping the way we see the world. If you work from home or you don’t have a physical address, you may want to invest in a virtual office. As DaVinci Coworking points out, having a virtual office gives you the benefits of a professional location, without the overhead costs. This can make it much easier to appear in local searches, because you don’t have to put out your home address in order to appear legitimate.”
How Customers Prefer to Find Businesses
We are busy people, and we don’t want to waste a lot of time looking for the businesses that we need. If we need a dentist, we want to find one quickly, make an appointment, and get back to our busy lives. Customers grow to rely on their preferred local search apps, and it becomes a convenient place to find any of the businesses they need. You no longer have to flip through a phone book aimlessly or even sift through result pages on search engines. You can simply open your favorite search app on your phone and find exactly what you need.
Discounts, Coupons, and Rewards Systems
Customers are always looking for the best deal. Coupons used to be a popular way for customers to save money on goods and services, but they have become less popular over the years with the rise of discounts and deals for loyal customers to one brand. Many search apps also offer these same type of discounts and deals, and some even offer rewards systems for frequent users.
There’s no denying that technology has changed our world. The ways in which customers prefer to find small businesses now is just one example. Customers are seeking ways to save money and save time, and local search apps are an excellent tool. Be sure to understand the laws tied in with these discounts and other coupons. It could make a huge difference in your sales.
Having a great website is only half the battle if your company can’t keep itself organized and well equipped in-house. For more articles on technological influences and business startup tips, check out our other articles!