Local retailers are increasingly going beyond store locators to drive sales. The extensions to store locators include brand locators, coupons, menus, trip planners, and even guides to where Wi-Fi, nonsmoking and RV parking can be found.
A leading vendor in providing retailer solutions is Anaheim, California-based Where2GetIt. Roughly 280 companies and 550 brands are using Where2GetIt today, representing 700,000 brick-and-mortar locations. These include manufacturers, retailers, restaurants and agencies.
Brands that use Where2GetIt include such mainstays as Office Depot, Hancock Fabrics, Columbia Sportswear, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Monster Cable, Mitsubishi Digital, Sony, ViewSonic, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Applebee’s, White Castle and Cracker Barrel. I ran across the firm looking for an Alpine car stereo, for instance.
The 25-person company got its start in 1997, when it won an assignment from Seiko to build online maps showing where its watches could be bought. Since then, Where2GetIt has extended its “locator” capabilities to a wide range of brand-specific products.
It provides a “turkey locator” for Popeyes Fried Chicken, a “running locator” for Reebok, a “pie locator” for Bakers Square and a “job locator” for recruitment firms. What ties them all together is a focus on helping consumers find brand-name products.
Where2GetIt CEO Manish Patel says the firm’s “Business Locator” continues to be the firm’s mainstay — typically one of the two most used features on a retail Web site. But the supplemental products have become increasingly important to the firm’s business model, which is based on licensing. For instance, adding coupons to Popeyes’ site doubled the chain’s Web site traffic, he says.
The firm’s other services tendered tend to be more strategic (i.e. future oriented). Firms such as Office Depot, for instance, use Where2GetIt’s mobile products. They include mobile locators, mobile browsers, SMS text messaging and toll-free 800 interactive voice response.
The firm is also heavily engaged in site analytics to drive sales conversion. “We try to figure out how far people will drive” using crowd sourcing and other techniques, says Patel.