67% of the British online population now uses maps on the Internet, according to a new ICM survey in conjunction with ViaMichelin UK.
However, in the business sphere, it seems that many companies are not providing sufficient address information, or maps and directions to their nearest outlet online and as a result, could lose a third of potential customers on the internet.
84% of all internet users believe it is `useful, essential or important` for businesses to provide online maps to find the nearest or most convenient outlet. According to the survey, if a potential customer cannot find a map or directions they require when searching for a retail outlet or business, 20% will go to a competitor`s site and 11% will give up altogether.
The importance placed by consumers on being able to access clear directions and maps is shown by the length of time individuals are prepared to search for the location of a business. Nearly half, 44%, of all respondents would give up looking for a business, service or retail outlet if they had not found it within 10 minutes and only 12% of all respondents would spend longer than 30 minutes searching.
With a high percentage of internet users below 35 years old (internet penetration 43% higher than average) and the internet being a very popular medium to find products, services or business locations, the importance of providing clear online maps and directions for long term business success has never been so clear. Dan Gower, UK Business Services sales manager for ViaMichelin said: “With a staggering 97% of internet users consulting the net to find addresses of organisations, never has the provision of clear on-line maps and directions been so essential for commercial and marketing success”. He continued “Through the integration of maps into a business` web site, one of the easiest ways of losing customers is also one of the easiest to rectify”.
This research was conducted by ICM on behalf of ViaMichelin UK, a subsidiary company of the Michelin Group, renowned mapping and travel experts.
ICM Research interviewed a random selection of 1006 adults aged 18+ years old by telephone between 8-10 February 2002. Interviews were conducted across the U.K. and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults.