Searches during holidays, why you need to get your special opening hours setup on Google, Facebook and Foursquare.

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A while ago we tweeted that summer is coming up and so are many local and national holidays. This means venues will have special opening hours, something that ideally should be shown correctly for all locations on all platforms such as Google, Facebook and Foursquare. This led to a few good discussions with our customers. In those conversations, we got a few questions about what sort of impact info about normal and special opening hours really has. How much actual effect does this have? We had a hunch but decided to try and look it up in more detail. For this blog post, we will only refer to Google Data but our research shows similar patterns on Facebook local pages and Foursquare. Turns out, it has a lot of impact!

People try to find their way, even if they do not know exactly what they are looking for. The picture below shows Google insights for a chain of grocery stores during April this year. During that month Easter Holidays were happening from the 14th through the 17th. It is pretty obvious that a lot of customers searched for their locations during this period. This particular chain has about 195 stores and the day before Easter almost a 100,000 local searches were made.

Search results april 2017

Search results April 2017

Another thing we can clearly see is the overwhelming majority of those searches were indirect, that is searches that are discovery mode and where the customer is less exact about what they are trying to find. Some of it may be misspelled but a lot is probably people that want to find a nearby open grocery store, plain and simple. That means that if this chain of stores had bad info on Google there is a high risk of those customers going to a competitor.

Presented with these insights we researched a bit further and looked at actions taken on Google. That looked like this:

Action April 2017

Action April 2017

The spike in customer activity is no less obvious here. You can draw a number of conclusions from this. We won’t delve into everything in this blog post, however the mere fact that driving directions are used up to 1500 times/day to find local stores should tell any owner of physical stores/venues that it is most likely unwise to ignore getting your Google Maps info correct. It you are normally buying ads we would suggest using this data to make those purchases more precise. Another nice thing this data does is create some peace of mind knowing that eager and curious potential customers can find their way to your stores.

In conclusion For chains and stores, setting up your presence on other networks than your own web page is vital to help people find the front door of your venues. This is extra important for industries that see a spike during holidays. The days when people used just your web page is long gone, you need to have your data correct on Google, Facebook and Foursquare.


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