The new retail success metric

By all accounts, consumer spending is up. So why aren’t small shops and restaurant always reaping the benefits?

Well, one of the reasons is their digital doorways are closed shut! 

As we create welcoming and interactive environments within physical spaces, it’s equally as important to do the same online. I worked with three tenants just this week that didn’t show up in online searches for their categories.

Think about it. If you don’t come up in a search, you’re virtually invisible given that 90 percent of people start their path to purchase with an online search.

We generally think of online search as a priority for e-commerce sites but it's equally as important for local stores. Here’s why:

There’s been a 500+ percent growth in “near me” searches on Google over the past several  years. When someone asks, via search, for an item or restaurant suggestion “near me,” it implies intent to purchase. In fact, Google states, as a result of these searches:

  • 50% of searchers visit a local store within a day

  • 18% lead to a purchase within a day

That’s a pretty powerful argument for improving a store’s digital presence.

Unfortunately, small shops don’t usually understand the relationship between digital and physical and often don’t have the wherewithal to create a more robust online presence.

If you’re faced with underperforming local businesses in your centers, their digital presence, or lack thereof, may be part of the problem.  

Do a simple search.
Where are they showing up, if at all?

Check for outdated website content. 
If there’s still a notice about a July 4th sale
and it’s September, they clearly aren’t updating
their content, a top priority for getting better rankings.

Review their social media.
Are they posting regularly? Are they getting engagement?

Check review sites
A lack of  online reviews (good or bad) is not only bad
for rankings, it says the business isn’t resonating
with the community.
For decades, we’ve been measuring small shop success by the standard Key Performance Indicators, year-over-year sales growth, profit margins, conversion rates etc. Now, we have to add a new metric to the mix – search!


For more information about Tenant Mentorship and how we can assist with turning your small shop tenants into high performance machines, email

Did you know 37% of franchise owners make less than $50k a year?