5 Ways Building Material Manufacturers Can Improve their Dealer Locator Page

Many building materials manufacturers use their websites as a place for people to find the things they’re looking for. The reality is the potential is far greater than that. In actuality, it’s an incredibly powerful marketing tool. When it’s set up to move potential customers through the purchasing process with ease and efficiency.

This is true on your manufacturers dealer locator pages. The pages that customers go to where they can make their purchase (the most important part of the equation!) These “Where to Buy” pages provide those locations and enhance their buying experience and make them more eager to purchase. 

Your “Where-to-Buy” Page Vital To Your Sales, Here’s Why.

So a kitchen contractor is looking for quartz countertops and has come across your brand. They like what they see and they hit Google to find out where they can buy your products. They see the link to your Where-to-Buy page and click it. 

When they get there it asks for their zip code to find your closest authorized dealer. They can contact the dealer, get product info and place their order to give you a sale.

It should be an easy, efficient and convenient process for any contractor, architect, or customer who lands on that page. Think of it as the first point of contact for a potentially long-term customer with loyalty over time. It’s the digital connection you need between customers hungry for your products and a local dealer they can purchase from. 

And it’s far more important than you think. A well-designed Where-to-Buy page can streamline the buying process. The more custom it is to the consumer and the products can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Epsilon survey showed that 80% of consumers prefer buying from companies that give them a “personalized” web experience. More and more these days the look and feel of your pages matter more than ever.

Having well-designed and easy-to-navigate Where-to-Buy pages gives you the chance to see who your best dealers are from the moment the customer hits the page to the sales experience and long into the lifetime value of that customer. This gives you vital information and data that can help you streamline and improve your sales process, prove ROI to dealers, and maintain long-term relationships with your dealers.

The Perfect Where-to-Buy Page, 5 Key Elements You Must Have.

An Enjoyable User Experience

This one cannot be understated and that’s why it’s #1 on this list. With MILLIONS of sites and slick production value, you’ve got seconds to engage your customer. Their UX (User Experience) has to be top-notch to get them to stay.

The minute they land on your page they should see the product they require and be easy to navigate. No hidden menus, no three-page slog to find what they came for. 

And for good reason, an eye-tracking study by the Missouri University of Science and Technology showed that people spent under 3 seconds scanning a website before focusing on a certain section, and only about 5.6 seconds looking at the written copy. 

This is especially true of your Where-to-Buy page because that’s where they’re going to land first.

The minute they visit your page they should see the things they’re looking for to make it easy to navigate. No hidden menus, no three-page slog to find what they came for and purchase it easily. 

For example, let’s look at Honeywell’s main Where-to-Buy page.

It’s clean and precise. When a customer lands on this page they can see the images of Honeywell’s product categories and offerings. 

So, for example, the customer wants productivity solutions. They click on the relevant pin and are immediately taken to a “sub” Where-to-Buy page, The Productivity Partner Locator.

When it opens, a world map pops up with a handy entry field for the city or zip code. When they put in their location they’ll get a list of dealers and retailers for Honeywell’s productivity goods and services. It’s a very streamlined and efficient method of easing them to the point of sale. 

There’s another great example of a well-laid-out and easy-to-navigate Where-to-Buy page over at Fox Blocks. When you land on the page it clearly says what you’re there to do.

There’s an input to put in your location or zip code and then simply click search.

When the customer clicks “search” it gives the 10 closest locations to them and gives all the important information. Such as Name, and phone number with a clickable link, and even a link for directions to get there. You can also click map view to see locations in relation to where the customer is. It’s handy and well thought out. 

Both of these sites have an easy-to-use experience for buyers that helps them to purchase with a natural flow.

The Faster The Better (People Love Speed!)

Like the majority of people with devices in their hands, there’s one thing that’s more off-putting than almost anything else. Slow load times or lags in the process. 

The next key to having a winning Where-to-Buy page, you guessed it, speed.

From click to result your customers should be able to find a dealer near them in seconds flat.

Believe it or not, even in this day and age, there are two easy-to-use but most often overlooked pieces of technology that can make this happen for you. 

First, is… an Internal Site Search Feature? 

According to Forrester Researcher, a whopping 43% of people navigate to find things on the web and plan to purchase using an internal website search box! If you don’t have this vital feature you’re simply leaving money on the table. 

An internal site search gives your potential customer to discover the products they want quickly (remember, speed!) as opposed to making them manually dig through your site map to eventually find what they need. Not only that, with the right software when the customer finds that product they’re looking for you can make it a clickable link that takes them directly to a customized Where-to-Buy page, making it fewer steps to placing their order.

It’s a far cry from having to put list after list of endless building materials dealers on one page and expecting the customer to hang around and slog through it. The simple rule is: Make it as EASY as possible for a customer who’s ready to spend money with your company. 

Speaking of speed, the second overlooked technology is one that everyone should be using. 

It takes another step out of the process and enhances the user experience even further. 

It’s called Geolocation Detection 

So, what’s easier than asking a customer to put their location into a search bar?

Letting your software automatically detect their location and put it in for them. 

Most new devices have geolocation software embedded in them. If your customer has it enabled on their browser, it’s a fantastic way to give them information on local dealers in an instant. When they land on your site they’ll be taken immediately to a custom Where-to-Buy page for their specific location without even tapping a key. 

Inventory Transparency

Nothing frustrates buyers more than going to a site and NOT being able to find what they’re looking for. Inventory transparency eliminates this problem by showing them exactly what they’re looking for upfront.

A Kibo study found that a full 72% of consumers search for information about specific inventory and about that same number actually won’t go to certain retail stores if they can’t confirm the product’s availability online.

That’s not something you can ignore. To keep buyers engaged and help them find exactly what they’re looking for (and make the sale) you need to add inventory transparency directly to your Where-to-Buy pages. There are some awesome software products out there that will allow you to show which dealers carry which products and even if they’re in stock at the time of their search. That leads to increased customer engagement, satisfaction, and the potential for them to come back to you for even more of their needs.

Measuring Performance and Capturing Leads.

Do you have a list of all the potential customers that come from a customer clicking on your Where-to-Buy pages? Most Where-to-Buy pages give just the dealer’s phone number and location… and end it there. 

That means there’s zero opportunity for you to attribute to yourself and your company. When leads reach out to your dealers, what stops them from offering and selling a competing product in your market? As it stands, nothing. 

According to HubSpot, more than half of all marketers consider lead generation to be their #1 challenge, and building materials manufacturers have a unique opportunity in this regard. 

Consider the following pop-up form on Honeywell’s website. It appears after customers select a dealer and click the “Have Partner Contact Me” button.

This gives you the distinct advantage of being able to collect a ton more information that you and your dealers can use to connect and serve your customers a whole lot better.

And there’s some powerful software that can give you this exact functionality. One of the best is Bullseye’s dealer locator software, and it could become your new best friend. It helps you capture your potential client’s information and strengthen dealer relationships by giving you the knowledge about how well they’re actually selling your products and giving you the incentive to do more. 

Bullseye lets you create forms that intelligently harness lead data and transfer it to selected dealers via advanced closed-loop reporting capabilities. Some key features are:

  • An intuitive form builder that lets you create custom fields and capture specific lead information, giving you a 360-degree customer view  
  • An agile API allowing you to port data to HubSpot, Salesforce, and other leading CRM tools for lead nurture and follow up
  • A lead management portal that empowers you to track the customer journey without leaving the Bullseye system, if you so choose  

You can set up Bullseye to send dealers to lead info according to distance, past performance, or other rules. All these features add up to convenience for customers, and richer business intelligence for building materials manufacturers.

But there’s one more huge benefit to using software like this one. By providing key customer data and tracking performance, your value as a full partner with your dealers who truly understands marketing and sales will strengthen your relationships with your best dealers for the long term.  

A Design That Leverages Local SEO

One of the scariest-sounding things you might hear in the marketing world, but it doesn’t have to be that way… SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO experts make it seem like the impossible dream, but that’s really not the case. However, it is a super important part of any Where-to-Buy page. 

You need to make sure your website is easily found by organic searchers, period. A full 53% of web traffic, according to BrightEdge, comes from organic searches and a huge 46% of Google searches are people looking for local information about products and services. 

It’s especially important on your Where-to-Buy pages because, as discussed before, this is the main way people are being introduced to your brand and your products and it’s the workhorses of pages, good SEO can make all the difference in your potential customers actually finding you and your dealers.

Local SEO lets you speak directly to high-intent searchers in a specific city or town. For example, if a kitchen contractor in Boulder, CO wants to purchase your brand’s granite countertops, they’ll hop from a Google search right onto your custom Where-to-Buy page, which lists local kitchen remodeling dealers. 

This is another perfect example of wherever the right software can make all the difference. 

Bullseye seamlessly creates properly optimized Where-to-Buy landing pages for you. In addition, the platform offers:

  • The ability to feature multiple photos per dealer, so your leads instantly recognize the store when paying a visit
  • Implementation of all good local SEO standards, including an interactive local map, dynamically-generated page titles and meta description tags, and keyword-rich page URLs
  • A place for links to each dealer’s social media profiles — which is great both for your page’s SEO clout and for the convenience it offers local searchers  

Great Where-to-Buy Pages: More Leads and Sales for Building Materials Manufacturers

Many building materials buyers expect to get the results and the products only to be frustrated by what they see online. 

Manufacturers should offer a customized, streamlined, easy-to-use experience that meets the needs of those customers right on your Where-to-Buy page. 

Additionally, if you’re not using the right software you’re getting leads and potential long-term customers slip down the drain because those pages aren’t set up to properly capture leads and the vital data that comes with them. 

But the time has come for all that to change, as mentioned throughout this article there are some amazing pieces of fully integrated software that can help you do it all. 

Make your Where-to-Buy pages the heroes of your site, the place where clients can go, immediately find what they need, and make the sale, all while gaining new customer insights and adding true value to them and your dealers alike.

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