You may have noticed that the admin interface for Store Locator Plus has been changing during the past few releases.
Last month My Store Locator Plus users noticed that the Advanced Settings menu has been renamed “Store Locator Plus”. This has been done as we work toward improving and consolidating our documentation as well as functionality between the WordPress plugin and the fully managed locator service.
This month our Store Locator Plus users , whether using the WordPress plugins or MySLP service will notice that the add and edit locations page looks a bit different. This is part of today’s 4.9.14 update for WordPress and 18.04 update for MySLP.
How important is it for people to find a location nearest them? “Near Me” has been a top-ranked search term on Google for the past seven years. This may be the number one reason to use a location sensor. Research indicates that the common phrases of “near me” in Google searches is a top-ranked query. The phrase “handyman near me” might return a cloud based app that in turn redirects the users search to some popular apps but how does your browser, Google Maps or other platform know where you are?
Enter location sensor, a browser-based tool that detects where a user is at the time of search. On GPS-enabled mobile devices it returns the precise location using the device’s built-in GPS sensor. For the Store Locator Plus users the location sensor can be enabled by checking a box under General Settings. WordPress Plugin users will need the Power add on. MySLP service users will need to be subscribed to the Power, Professional, or Enterprise plan.
Using HTTPS Improves Sensor Performance
Google Chrome’s v 50 and higher ( the most popular browser with the largest market share at this time) requires site urls to be served over a secured site before it will allow the location of the user to be transmitted. They have stated that location is sensitive data and determined that HTTPS versus HTTP be required to protect the privacy of your users’ location data. Other popular browsers , such as Mozilla Firefox, may submit a pop-up box asking the user to grant permission for their location to be known.
In short, if your site is using the location sensor feature it must get an SSL certificate and be serving pages on an https address. Many browser disable multiple features if you are not a secure site, including the location sensor. It won’t be long before ALL browsers disable location sensor support if you are not hosting an https site.
Location Sensors Can Increase Sales
If you have a physical location that counts on people walking in the door to make a sale, adding Google Maps and employing the location sensor can have a notable impact on your walk-in traffic. Your first step is to get an SSL certificate on your site so you can serve secure pages; This also helps boost your Google search rank. Once you have that completed put Google Maps software that supports the locations sensor on your site. Add a couple of posts to your site that relate to your business such as “Boutique Near Me” and drop the map code on that post. It won’t happen overnight, but as your site starts to generate traffic the map will lead people to your store.
Store Locator Plus is kicking off 2017 with a notable revision to the user experience tools available in the map and location finder application. Store Locator Plus for WordPress has long employed “Plugin Styles” as a way for users to jump-start their custom look-and-feel for the locator on their WordPress site. With the recent release of the My Store Locator Plus SaaS service it was obvious that a modern system for deploying updated styles was going to be needed.
Store Locator Plus 4.7.3 is replacing the static CSS-file based styling system with a cloud-hosted style gallery. This will allow the user experience team at Store Locator Plus to deploy new styles without having to wait for the R&D team to design and test a new version of the application before a new style is available to the users. Our design team can now assist all Store Locator Plus users that are having styling issues and provide them with a faster turn around for one-click fixes to their locator interface issues.