#SFSNYC: Drawing the Connection Between Online Presence and In-Store Sales

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Taking charge of online data about a business has become a key way to steer consumers into stores. More and more, businesses need to stay on top of their digital presences, which extend well beyond their company websites. The variety of outlets where people can discuss their impressions of a brand continues to expand. Furthermore, what prior patrons say about an individual store or brand can influence potential future clientele.

Keeping comments, reviews, and ratings about a business sorted can be simplified through the platform uberall offers, says Elisabeth Kurek, the company’s vice president of partner growth. She will speak at next week’s Street Fight Summit about how controlling this information in one central location can make life easier for businesses.

What is the importance of the relationship of the data Uberall focuses on and in-store activity?
uberall is a location marketing cloud. We provide a platform that you can manage all of your online listings in. We have relationships with publishers and directories worldwide — Foursquare, Yelp, any of these directory listing. Through our platform we provide the ability to manage all of that in one place. With the popularity of local, and the growth of these directories, there are more and more of them. For a small business, that is really difficult to manage. You’ve got to update your Yelp, your Foursquare, your Facebook, and Google My Business. There are hundreds of these directories out there, and depending on the industry you are in, there are some that may be more relevant than others.

Even to create log-ins for all of those, to maintain them and make sure they are up to date, that can be overwhelming. Our platform provides one UI to manage all of them. You enter your business information into our platform and it’s updated across all of the relevant directories.

If you get into the more premium version of our solution, it enables you to manage your reviews. It will tell you if there are new posts on Facebook, if there are new reviews or changes in scores on other sites, or if an update needs to be made. It provides a central location where you can manage all of your online listings.

We know that local search is becoming more important and 86 percent of consumers regularly search the Web for information on local businesses. We also know that local search drives foot traffic. Fifty percent of all local searches lead to a user visiting that local store within 24 hours of that search.

With the growing ubiquity of mobile, what have been the most relevant changes your company has paid attention to?
What we’re seeing in terms of market trends is that the way consumers search is evolving. It used to be that there were the printed yellow pages, then the first digital directories, and then a lot of searching on desktop. Where we are now is we’re seeing more consumers search on mobile. There are some businesses that operate specifically on mobile devices. There are companies and consumers that are doing a majority of their search on mobile.

What’s really important and how this affects what we do — there are a couple of things. First of all you have to make sure your business information is updated on Google My Business and all of the relevant directories so you are able to be found on mobile devices when people are searching for you. The other trend is based on how mobile devices are being used, particularly in the United States. In the U.S., where a lot of people drive instead of use public transportation, the information that is in Waze, for example, has to be up to date in order for the business to be found by the consumer. Things that you might not think of in a traditional mobile sense are becoming more and more important. We see the market evolving with the Internet of Things. Every device is becoming connected. Even within uberall, our directory information is synched with car GPS. If you think about Volkswagen, Audi, and different car GPS—those cars are now devices.

There is even a custom dress [from Google and H&M]. An app will track how you’ve been walking and Google and H&M will create a custom dress made from that data. We’re seeing mobile as a big trend, identifying how different apps work with through mobile devices. We also see the market heading beyond computers and phones to every device being connected.

Does AI come into play for your company in terms of processing information?
That is where the market is heading. Where we are with uberall right now, we’re in the first steps of having cars and GPS connected. As the market evolves, uberall will continue to evolve with that. We’re focused on mobile searches, and with cars as the first devices. We’re still at the forefront of what is to come next. It will be important that our product evolves with the market demand.

With these collective changes in technology, has consumer behavior changed?
Social media and social search have a big impact. You’ll see someone on Facebook ask for recommendations and there is a feature on Facebook where you can say you are looking for a type of service. Search is happening on mobile devices many times throughout the day. We’re seeing consumers use search engines on their mobile devices, but also social media to look for products and services. They’re not only looking for the name and address of businesses, but also rich data. For example, if you’re searching for a restaurant in the area you’ll see listings, but people want to look at reviews, pictures, videos—things that give them an impression of the business.

Joao-Pierre Ruth is a Street Fight contributor.

Join uberall’s Elisabeth Kurek and hundreds of other top local companies and brands at The Best Street Fight Summit Ever — a three-day extravaganza in Brooklyn on June 12-14. Click here to register now!