How Much Do SMBs Use Maps & Directory Listings to Drive Foot Traffic?

As part of the ritual of examining local commerce and SMB SaaS strategies, Localogy goes right to the source: SMBs themselves. How do they feel about marketing and operational software? What features do they want? And how has their hunger changed in a pandemic? This is all a moving target.

Localogy’s Modern Commerce Monitor (MCM) answers these website dynamics questions across SMB SaaS, which we preview in this Benchmark Bytes series. After examining the types of marketing services and agencies SMBs use, we switch gears this week to their adoptiveness around online maps.

Specifically, Do SMBs use online maps or directory listings to drive traffic? This can include tools like Google Maps, as well as online yellow pages or vertical directories. And when we say “traffic” we mean the offline variety… how much are SMBs using digital tools to drive foot traffic to their physical locations?

Data Dive

Going deeper, a few insights jump out from these findings.

– The vast majority (62 percent) of SMBs have adopted online maps and directories as marketing vehicles.

  • This stands to reason as these technologies, once emerging and cutting edge, have become ubiquitous and mundane.
  • As such, they’ve penetrated far enough into mainstream culture that SMBs feel comfortable using them.

– This is especially the case with Google Maps, given that many SMBs likely use it themselves.

  • – SMB martech adoption often mirrors their own use of tech tools as consumers.

– There are several ways SMBs can work with online maps, including SEO

  • This can include working with Google Business Profiles (formerly GMB) to ensure that their listings info is correct, updated and optimized.
  • This is relatively low-hanging fruit for SMBs to claim profiles and update listings, given that it’s a free tool from Google.
  • The same goes for claiming profiles and optimizing listings on other popular channels, such as Facebook and Yelp.

– Though the survey didn’t ask specifically, most mapping adoption among SMBs is likely on Google Maps.

  • Other options loom for SMBs, such as using Snap Map to reach Gen Z and millennials.
  • Snap also has paid amplification options for SMBs, beyond just claiming a listing and showing up on Snap Map.

– Though a majority of SMBs are using online maps and directory listings, there’s still headroom for growth.

  • 38 percent don’t use these tools, which is the segment that represents revenue growth opportunities for local marketing vendors.

Time to Shine

Stepping back, SMB online marketing – website-based or otherwise – continues to grow rapidly. SMB SaaS startups and online services providers are correspondingly thriving as it continues to grow as a leading subsector of the broader SaaS universe. There’s a long-tail opportunity at play.

Meanwhile, new SMB SaaS users could represent permanent adopters. This is a concept that’s accelerated in the Covid era as SMBs are forced to boost their digital transformation. This sends them into the arms of SaaS providers to accomplish a range of marketing and operational functions.

We’ll return in the next installment to go deeper into Localogy original survey research. That will include SMB goals and success factors. Let us know what additional insights jump out at you from the above data. Stay tuned for more breakdowns in our Benchmark Bytes series.

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