UX Best Practices: Store Locator Pages for Online Businesses
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In today’s digital marketplace, optimizing the user experience (UX) is essential to attract and retain customers. For many retail businesses, a key element of this experience is the Store Locator.
It’s hard to convince prospective customers to make the effort of travel to a store — streamlining the process of identifying their ideal location is essential.
A successful, UX-optimized Store Locator will significantly enhance a user’s online shopping experience. In this article, we will explore how to optimize the Store Locator user experience and the Store Locator user journey.
User Journey Design
Mapping the user journey is a crucial step in optimizing the UX of a Store Locator. A well-designed user journey for a Store Locator is simple, efficient, and relevant to the user’s needs. When designers have a complete understanding of the user journey, real website visitors can find the information they need quickly and easily, and they can get directions to the store with a single click.
Here are some tips for optimising the user journey:
- Identify the end-user’s goals: Are they looking for the closest store? The one with the widest selection? The most extended hours of operation? Understanding the goals helps to design an effective journey.
- Expert tip — designate optimized filters — allow users to filter location results by store type, hours of operation, and other criteria.
- Provide all necessary information: Once you understand the user’s goals, you can determine the information they need. This may include the store address, hours of operation, phone number, website address, and even a search bar.
- How can you make the journey as easy as possible? Eliminate any unnecessary steps or obstacles from the user journey. For example, if the user is looking for the nearest store, you can automatically detect their location and display the results accordingly.
Usability and Accessibility
When designing your Store Locator, it is important to consider the usability and accessibility of the tool. Usability refers to how easy it is for users to use your Store Locator. Accessibility refers to how accessible your Store Locator is to all users, including those with disabilities.
Tips for improving ergonomics:
- Ease of Use: Make sure your Store Locator is easy to navigate. Users should be able to find the information they are looking for quickly and easily.
- Expert tip — provide keyboard shortcuts — for example, the tab key to navigate between search fields. This will allow users to navigate your Store Locator using their keyboard, which is useful for users with mobility impairments.
- Adaptability: Allow users to view the map or list of stores interchangeably. Some users prefer one or the other, and this will allow your customers to find the information they need in a fluid way.
To improve accessibility:
- Readability: Use large enough fonts and a high contrast between text and background. Make all content accessible to assistive technologies used by people with disabilities.
- Language: Use simple, clear, and concise language. Avoid jargon or technical terms that users may not understand.
Search Experience Optimization (SXO)
When creators account for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in their UX design approach, this field has birthed the specific field of “Search Experience Optimization.” Effective SXO targets both search engines and users.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is crucial when designing a Store Locator. This means that when people search for keywords related to your business, they’ll land straight onto your store’s designated page.
Here are some tips for optimizing the SXO of your Store Locator:
- Keywords: Use relevant keywords in the content of your Store Locator to improve your ranking in search engines. This includes the title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and body text.
- Expert tip — build backlinks — when curating content on your Store Locator page, focus on getting external links from websites that are relevant to your industry and have a good reputation.
- Quality Content: Provide high-quality content that meets the needs of users. Some of the best Store Locator examples often incorporate testimonials or reviews. This approach can help improve your ranking in search engines and attract more traffic to your site.
- Mobile Optimization: More and more users are shopping online on their mobile devices, so it is essential for SEO that your design works across interfaces. SEO best practices for mobile include responsive design, caching, file minification, image compression, breadcrumbs, social media buttons, and adaptive text formatting.
Enhancing the user experience of a Store Locator means dedicating special attention to specific details and perspectives; including user journey design, usability, accessibility, and search engine optimization. By following these tips, you can create a Store Locator that provides an exceptional user experience and helps increase the visibility and traffic of your e-commerce site. Interested in getting an expert diagnosis of your company’s website? Get in touch with a member of our team today.
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