In today’s digital age, according to the empirical study, consumers have become increasingly reliant on online platforms for their purchasing decisions. However, despite the convenience and accessibility of e-commerce, the physical retail space continues to hold significant value for businesses.

In particular, the concept of “shelfies” – staged and aesthetically pleasing displays of products on store shelves – has become a powerful marketing tool for local businesses. From small boutiques to large chain stores, shelfies have proven to be an effective way to capture the customer preferences, customer satisfaction and attention of potential customers and drive sales.

In this article, we will delve into the strategic perspective of shelfies and explore the various ways in which they can benefit local businesses.

We will discuss the impact of shelfies on consumer behavior, their role in creating a unique brand image, and the importance of incorporating them into a larger marketing strategy. By understanding the value of shelfies, local businesses can elevate their in-store experience and gain a competitive edge in the ever-evolving retail landscape.

Holds Immense Value

If you are a local brand owner or marketer, your camera holds immense value as a business tool. While early smartphones popularized the concept of selfies and it is indeed a splendid idea to capture the owner and staff of a local business to establish authenticity and approachability, the emergence of “shelfies” is becoming increasingly significant in the commercial realm.

Shelfies, in a commercial context, serve as visual indicators for both customers and search engines, providing insights into what can be expected within your premises.

In recent years, I have consistently advocated for local businesses to photograph their most sought-after products and services, incorporating these images into their Google Business Profiles. However, shelfies offer a distinct perspective. Instead of focusing on a single item, shelfies encompass photographs of your shelves and displays, effectively showcasing the abundance and distinctiveness of your offerings.

A quick glance at such visuals on a local business listing would immediately convey to potential customers that this establishment is an excellent nearby destination for purchasing socks.

Furthermore, it should be noted that this autonomous grocery establishment boasts a dedicated deli counter where patrons can find an assortment of freshly made salads readily available for purchase.

It is worth noting that despite being categorized as a hardware store, the establishment in question showcases an impressive assortment of kitchen wares.

Why Publish Local Business Shelfies?

Customers may not take the time to read through all the categories, descriptions, and posts on your local business listing. However, if they come across a captivating image that relates to what they are looking for, the connection is immediate.

In fact, visual learning is 400% faster than text-based learning. It’s not just people who benefit from these images, but Google as well. In a recent interview, Mike Blumenthal, an expert in local SEO, mentioned that Google has recognized the power of images in conveying information about a business.

They even have a term for these images – “shelfies” – which are pictures of products displayed on shelves. Google is now able to match these images to the intent behind a user’s search query. This is evident in the local pack results for searches like “engagement rings san francisco,” where relevant images are prominently featured.

Therefore, it is essential to include high-quality images that accurately represent your business and products, as Google has become proficient in understanding and utilizing visual content.

However, upon modifying my search to “diamond necklaces san francisco”, the visual representation for the leading business undergoes a notable transformation. Despite being associate with the same company, a distinct image is now handpick to align with the context of my query.

The Ability To Accurately Differentiate

Until now, I have not encountered any real-life instances of Google exhibiting such behavior within the 3-pack for queries related to shelfie-type images. However, according to our knowledge derived from Google’s Cloud Vision API, we can ascertain that Google possesses the ability to accurately differentiate between various objects present within a single image.

Based on Mike Blumenthal’s findings in the Product Experts webinar and Google’s advancing capability in image analysis, it is strongly suggest to consider conducting a photoshoot in the coming spring to capture your most sought-after inventory shelves. This recommendation is based on the anticipation that Google will soon extend its current image processing algorithms to include shelf images, similar to the treatment of individual object images.

Moreover, showcasing evidence of well-stocked premises is a prudent decision in 2023, considering the ongoing challenges posed by supply chain shortages.

Where to Publish Your Local Business Shelfies

Discover Five Effective Strategies For Promoting Your High-Quality Shelf Pics

  • Enhance your Google Business Profile: Boost your online presence by regularly uploading new shelfies to your main photos set on your listings. Rather than overwhelming users with a flood of images, a consistent drip of fresh content is more impactful. Additionally, showcase your product lines through shelfies in the Products section of your listing and leverage Google Updates to advertise the wide range and availability of your desirable inventory.
  • Leverage Apple Maps: If you’re a Moz Local customer, take advantage of the opportunity to add up to 100 photos to your dashboard, which will be distributed to Apple Maps. Given Apple’s increased focus on local business with Apple Business Connect, it’s crucial to tap into this platform. Utilize the Showcases feature, similar to Google Updates, to microblog about your shelfies. Gradually prove the active status of your listings by adopting a slow drip approach.

Photos Should Feature Your Shelfies

  • Maximize your structured citations: Any local business listings that support photos should feature your shelfies. You can manually add them or rely on Moz Local to handle distribution on your behalf.
  • Optimize your website: Incorporate shelfies into your location landing pages to provide potential customers with a visual representation of what they can expect at your various premises. This will instantly capture their interest and encourage engagement.
  • Leverage social media profiles: Capitalize on the power of social media platforms to share up-to-the-minute shelfies of limited edition or hard-to-find items, special holiday offers, and exciting new product lines. By regularly posting engaging content, you can effectively introduce your community to your latest offerings and generate buzz.

During my younger days, I distinctly recall feeling a sense of delight whenever I encountered intricately designed holiday displays at various stores. It provided me with a small yet thrilling pleasure to witness Valentine’s Day cards adorning the window of the nearby stationery shop, the grocer’s enchanting display of candy corn in a witch’s kettle during fall, or the gleaming paper crackers imported all the way from the UK for Christmas.

Served As A Window

These shelves served as a window into the lives of my neighbors, offering glimpses of their unique traditions and customs. The presence of special Manischewitz matzos and Kedem grape juice during Passover, as well as the vibrant red envelopes and paper lanterns during Lunar New Year, instilled in me an appreciation for the diversity and celebratory spirit of my community.

Remarkably, in Spain, the arrangement of products in marketplaces has evolved into an awe-inspiring art form, captivating the attention of people who frequently photograph and even paint these vibrant displays.

Therefore, in the coming months, you can strive to achieve a small yet significant goal: creating displays that fill you with pride, ones that you are eager to capture and share with others. If these displays manage to inspire enough people, customers may be force to join in and contribute their own “shelfies” to your local business listings, as well as share their positive reviews and social media posts about your establishment.

In the realm of local search marketing, there are enjoyable aspects, and it is truly gratifying when these efforts require minimal hassle but yield remarkable results.

In Conclusion

Shelfies have become a powerful marketing tool for local businesses, offering a unique and personalized approach to reaching customers. By strategically curating their shelves and showcasing their products, businesses can increase brand awareness, drive sales, and build a loyal customer base.

As we continue to see the rise of social network and visual platforms, it is crucial for businesses to understand and utilize the start-up branding, corporate branding and the value of shelfies as a strategic tool for success in the competitive market. So, the next time you’re browsing the shelves at your favorite local store, snap a picture and share it with your friends – because you never know, you may be helping a small business thrive.

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