We have mentioned in previous blog posts how a virtual tour is a powerful tool for any business, which can be embedded onto a Google Business listing, an online store, social media profiles, and websites. 360 tours are a feature that can be highly useful for retail stores, especially as many people continue to use online pages as their preferred method for shopping. Virtual tours offer the possibility of viewing spaces from any device in any location, thus making a store accessible to anyone at their convenience. Retail stores specifically can benefit from certain aspects that will make the shopping experience ideal for potential and returning customers and provide new opportunities for business.
Exploring the space
Starting with the basics, a virtual 360 tour will appear on the “see inside” option on Google maps, giving people the opportunity to explore the interiors of a space as soon as they see it on Google, and stores also have the possibility of including the virtual tour on the main page on their website. The retail industry can use virtual 360 tours not only showcase their existing space but also as a marketing tool for advertising new developments, such as in-store renovations.
It’s super easy to explore a retail location from virtually anywhere with a 360 tour. Check out the tour we did for Outdoor Voices here in New York, and you can see for yourself how convenient this is!
Online Traffic and SEO
Speaking of standing out, virtual tours are key to keep up with the increasing demands of the search engine algorithms. Any retail store that wants to be seen online should aim to continue boosting its SEO and developing ways to increase online traffic and the amount of time that users spend on their site. Virtual 360 tours are one of the most innovative and easiest ways to do this, for Google classifies them as ‘information-rich content’ which helps increase SEO rankings and click-through rates onto your website. It’s important to remember that people usually trust the first 5 listings that appear on a Google search, and will probably not spend time seeing results that come up after the first page. Use a virtual tour to keep your page relevant!
Information Tags and Other Features
Having a 360-view tour on your Google profile by now is a standard and highly recommended practice, and there are now even more ways to go the extra mile to stand out while showcasing your store online. This can be done with a stand-alone virtual tour, which is specifically tailored for your websites or social media profiles and has the option to add features that enhance the customer experience while exploring your space. For instance, you can add information tags, which display product information when clicked, with media types including video, photo, text, and links. Users can click these links to purchase items, all from within the virtual tour of your store.
While some people choose to have products delivered to their homes, many are making use of the ‘pick up in-store’ feature when they purchase items online. Finding the pickup spot in-store is sometimes confusing for customers, but a store could make this process easier by highlighting this area on a custom virtual tour and making sure other important areas of the retail location are featured as well.
Businesses know by now that staying relevant these days requires using innovative trends and finding ways to adapt them to their needs and audiences. Retail stores particularly should get excited about these changes because they provide opportunities to interact with customers and increase online engagement.