Store locators are a dime a dozen these days. They're probably as old as the Internet itself. Every site has them and everybody has used one at some point.
So why make another one?
The answer is rather simple — most of today's store locators are just not that good. They are outdated in both functionality and design, and it feels like a chore using one.
People would much rather prefer going to Google Maps directly or even calling your company's number and asking in person.
If you look at some of the biggest brands these days, even the industry giants, you'll notice their store locators are also a bit outdated. They look small on the page and are uncomfortable to use.
Seems like it's a forgotten industry. While the rest of the web has moved on — technologies improved and our devices have gotten faster, the store locators stayed about the same...
But it doesn't have to be that way.
We've tried to reimagine what a perfect locator would look like. It would have to be fast and beautifully simple. It would have to be effective. So we aimed for those goals.
Everything on the locator stays up-to-date: you see which stores are currently open, and when they close the map self-updates. No need to refresh anything.
If the store's about to close, it warns you 30 minutes in advance. To get to it, embedded directions for different modes of transportation are available without leaving the page.
You can even preview location surrounding by using street view, and of course preview the store itself from uploaded photos.
The widget fits anywhere on your site, but can also be maximized full screen so user has more area to play around with (shown above).
All features available from the website that's hosting the locator.
Why not just use Google Maps?
Google Maps is an amazing service that's constantly improving, and ZenLocator is not really a replacement for it, but rather an addition.
Your customers are able to find you through 3rd party map services, but also through your own site — which can have additional features like conditional promotions, visitor analytics and store photos. In addition, you can also extend these features with your own code if you want greater control.
Of course your store locator will fit in with your brand like no other. It won't look like a 3rd party service, or even like the default ZenLocator (there are many layouts, themes, and if you don't like them all - you can customize everything with your own CSS).
Long road ahead...
We have so many exciting features planned and it's going to be a challenging, but exciting year ahead.
Of course it takes time to make a quality product, but our main goal is always going to be to keep it fast, beautiful and simple — something that everyone enjoys using.
Let's get locating.