The term "brick and mortar" refers to the existence of a physical storefront or building — coined by Charles Dickens in his novel, Little Dorrit, dating back to when most buildings were made of just that, red bricks held together with mortar. "Brick and mortar" pertains to any size business — from small and medium local businesses to large, global brands with local storefronts.
Although the world has fully embraced the digital age, consumers continue to value brick and mortar locations as an essential part of the purchasing process. Physical stores continue to be the preferred shopping location for consumers, with more than 90% of retail sales still occurring in store. In fact, technology like online business listings increasingly drive customers into stores, as does the rise of location services on mobile devices.
Enabled location services allow consumers to search for businesses based on their current location. And locally relevant, rich content available in business listings and directories provide consumers with valuable information about a business on the go, or before they even leave the house. Not only can a customer find out wherea business is located, but they can also confirm if that location is open, has a product in-stock, is able to perform a service, accepts a specific credit card, and more. As the number of sites and apps embedding location services into their core offerings grows, the number of available location attributes associated with a brick and mortar business will continue to increase.
Similarly to how the quality of a storefront matters to the success of a brick and mortar location, the quality of a business' online listings affects the size of the audience that views and acts upon a business listing on a search engine results page. No brick and mortar business would think to leave an incorrect hours sign up on their door, so why should they have incorrect business hours listed online? Online listings with incorrect or missing data are unattractive and unreliable to consumers searching for a service or product, so brick and mortar locations need to ensure their listings reflect what their physical locations offer in order to drive foot traffic through their front doors.
Business listings with accurate and up to date NAP data and enhanced content are beneficial to businesses for several reasons. First and foremost, they allow customers to find the necessary information to contact and visit a business location. Second, correct and data-rich listings are more favorable to search engines and will rank higher on unbranded searches in the business' vertical or category, which gives the business additional exposure to potential consumers.
According to recent data from Google, 76% of local mobile searchers visit a brick and mortar store within a day or less of their search and 28% of those result in a purchase — all the more reason to ensure your business' information is correct everywhere consumers search online. However, online business listings can require more attention and maintenance to be successful than maintaining a single physical storefront. That's where Yext comes in. Leverage the power of knowledge to drive more customers to your doorstep with the Yext Answers Platform — and give them an outstanding experience while they're in your brick and mortar locations and after they've left.