Some of my store pins are in the wrong spot

When you add store listings to Stockist, Stockist places a pin on your map for each store based on the street address you provide for the store.

To place the pins, we look up each address with multiple different mapping services to try to find the best match possible. By using multiple independent mapping companies, we're able to offer better accuracy and a higher match percentage compared to other store locator services, which helps save time and effort when adding many stores.

However, in certain cases, some stores can still accidentally be matched to an incorrect location. This can happen if some details in the address are misspelled, incorrect, or not fully specified, or in the rare case that none of the mapping services we use have yet added that specific address or to their databases (which can occasionally happen with new subdivisions or development).

To ensure your store locator works properly, it’s important that each store’s pin on the map is positioned correctly. Not only do the map pins guide visitors to the store’s location, but the pin positions are also how the map calculates which stores are nearby when a customer searches for a particular area.

Common ways to improve matching accuracy

If some of your store pins have ended up in the wrong spot, we recommend taking a look at the addresses of the affected stores to see if anything can be improved. The most common ways to improve the matching are:

Specify a complete address

To ensure the best match possible, please specify a full street address including a street name and number for each store.

The pin lookup process only looks at the street address provided for each store, and doesn’t take into account the name of the business or of any shopping center / plaza. 

If your address is missing some details and only lists a general area (e.g. "Seattle, WA" or "UK"), the pin will usually end up somewhere near the geographical center of the indicated area. Specifying just a postcode by itself (e.g. "2040" as the entire address) is particularly problematic, as postal codes with the same number often exist in multiple countries.

Include the country name

Although not strictly required, adding the country name to the end of your addresses can help improve the matching process significantly. 

Many similar street and city names exist in multiple countries, so indicating the correct country in your addresses helps to narrow down the search to the right area. This will make it less likely that an address is accidentally matched to a similar street/city name in the wrong region.

Watch for incorrectly formatted non-English characters

When saving a spreadsheet as a CSV file for import, some tools can accidentally remove accented or non-English characters from the file, which can affect the accuracy of the address lookup process (as well as the appearance of the store listings on your website).

To avoid this, we have an article here with details on how to save your CSV file in the correct format.

Leave out extra text or details

Your store addresses should contain only a numbered street address and not any extra details like a store name, store number, shopping center name, or other information. The lookup process works based on the standard structure of a street address in each supported country, and adding extra non-address details can confuse things.

For example, an address like “Target #2487, Home Section, 123 Main St, Anytown” could guide the matching process to look for an address with a building number of "2487", or a street name containing the word "Home", potentially overriding other portions of address like the actual street name or city.

Don't use a P.O. Box or mailbox address

We don’t recommend adding mailbox addresses or post office boxes to your store locator. These often can’t be matched accurately, and even when they can, the map pin will end up positioned at the mailbox provider or post office.

Generally, it’s best to only add stores to your store locator if they can be visited in person by your customers. Using a private mailbox, a PO box, or a warehouse address can confuse customers, who may try to visit the location identified on your map only to be disappointed.

If you’re trying to add an online-only retailer, please see our article with suggestions for online-only stores.

Watch for missing street numbers

Finally, some countries like the UAE use addressing systems that do not include formal street numbers. In these countries, addresses are often specified using a shopping center name or a general area. While these addresses can sometimes be matched depending on the data available for the area, there's often a higher percentage of mis-matched addresses in these circumstances. 

To ensure accurate locations for stores without numbered street addresses, we recommend uploading these listings in a spreadsheet and specifying the exact GPS coordinates of each store. Please see the  “Specifying exact pin coordinates” section below for more details.

Reviewing import results

If there are any issues matching addresses during an import, Stockist will attempt to make a note of this and report these stores on the results page after the import is complete. You can expand the “This import has X approximate matches” section to see more details:

You can then click “Check” next to any store in the list:

This will open the editor page for the store in question - please see the steps in the next section for how to resolve a mismatched pin.

Correcting the pin for a store

Option 1: Re-run the address lookup

If the pin for a store is in the wrong spot, the first recommended step is to open the store details page in the Stockist dashboard and then click Find address on map to re-run the address lookup. This will re-check the address in a slightly different way, and can sometimes give better results than the import process:

If you notice any issues with the address (e.g. any of the possible improvements listed earlier in this article), you can update the address and then click Find address on map again to run a lookup for the newly updated address.

If the pin is still in the wrong spot at this point, proceed to Option 2 below.

Option 2: Paste in coordinates

The other option is to paste in the correct GPS coordinates of the store.

First, open Google Maps and find the location there. Then, right-click on the map where the location's pin should be placed, and click on the GPS coordinates that appear in the menu:

Back in Stockist, click the crosshairs icon underneath the map, then paste in the coordinates and click Move pin:

Once this is done, the location's pin will be moved to the exact spot you selected on the map.

Option 3: Drag-and-drop pin

It's also possible to drag-and-drop the pin in the small map on the store details page to adjust the exact position:

Once the pin has been moved to the right place (either via a new address lookup, pasting in coordinates, or dragging-and-dropping the pin), you can click Save to update the location:

Specifying exact pin coordinates

Finally, it’s also possible to specify an exact latitude and longitude for each store in your spreadsheet. If you know the correct position for each store and would like to ensure that the pin ends up exactly there, you can add extra "Latitude" and "Longitude" columns to your spreadsheet to indicate the coordinates. We have more details in this article, under "Specifying GPS coordinates".

To identify the correct location for a store, you can open Google Maps to look up the store details or else identify the correct position using the Satellite imagery view. Position your cursor on the spot on the map where the pin should appear, then right-click and click the coordinates in the menu that appears to copy them to your clipboard:

You can then paste the latitude (the first number) and longitude (the second number) into the relevant columns in your spreadsheet.