Drupal Commerce sites can now use Google Store Locator
Working in eCommerce all the time can make it easy to forget that a vast majority of consumer spending is still done in brick-and-mortar shops. Discovering a dearth of ‘easy to install and configure’ store locator modules on drupal.org prompted us at Commerce Guys to create one. Our choice of which direction to move in was made easier because Google had recently announced the release of a store locator utility library, that makes working with their Maps API relatively painless.
To see the module live, check out the locators on the American Bank of Texas and American Association of Birth Centers websites. Read on for answers to some common questions folks have regarding Google Store Locator.
“How is a store locator useful to me if I don’t have any stores?”
The title “Google Store Locator” is a bit of a misnomer. It’s literally an “anything with a physical address” locator. It was built with retail businesses in mind, but as you saw in the live demos can quite easily be used for locating the nearest ATM or birth center.
“But what if I have ten thousand stores?”
This would be a typical big chain store question coming from someone like Sam Walton. The good news is that the beefy content management skills of Drupal allows you to scale from 1 up to as many locations as you need. You’re welcome Sam.
“This is all great for locals, but most of my business comes from out-of-towners. Half the time they don’t know where they’re at!”
The answer is Location Awareness, and the Google Store Locator has it. If you enable Location Awareness on your map your users will be prompted by their browsers (mobile included) to share their location. If they choose to share, the Store Locator will do it’s best to determine their location and will mark and re-adjust the map. This lets a user visually determine the location nearest them quickly. Now your army of street food vendors can descend upon the city at lunch time, and nobody will have trouble finding them.
“Ok, the Location Awareness is kinda cool, but my marketing dept. just burned through a lot of cash putting together some logos. I don’t want a generic map with no flavor.”
Adding custom marker icons to your map is as easy as finding the image file you want to use, and uploading it. No muss, no fuss.
“Is there anything that the Store Locator can’t do?”
Currently you can’t add multiple custom marker icons out of the box, but you can generate a Feature Filter list that allows you to tag your stores with certain features. Then an end-user can filter based on those features (e.g. 24 hr, Carries only Brand X, etc.)
Still not convinced? Head on over to the project page and check it out for yourself!