September 2022
July 2023

From Search to Store with Localistico

Local search solutions for bricks-and-mortar businesses: affordable, at scale, and as a service.

Localistico delivers local audiences to physical locations, driving footfall in bricks-and-mortar stores with repeatable and effective local digital marketing. High-intent audiences find what they’re looking for, and multi-location brands excel across multiple franchises, towns and regions. Localistico has major corporate clients like TGIFridays, Wagamama, Costa, Pronovias and Banco Montepio, but the story of their success starts with O2 and Wayra.

The challenge: scaling and adapting to the enterprise

Localistico launched in 2014, headed by Ricardo Varela, who previously worked at Google Maps and Microsoft. Inspired by the technical and financial challenges local businesses faced in local search, Ricardo set out to offer ‘80% of what you need, at 10% of the cost and in 1% of the time. The technology was ready, and Varela’s team had the expertise — but not the experience in scaling a company or working with corporates.

The challenge for Localistico would be twofold. First, they’d need to hire, scale, and manage their own growth. A lot of start-ups fall down at this hurdle. Second, they’d need to adapt to the requirements and ways of operating that enterprises require.

Wayra was on hand to help with both, guiding Localistico through their initial trial with O2 and helping them grow and develop afterward.

International introductions, local search

The O2 trial took place and O2 have been Localistico customers ever since. Localistico was the twenty-second start-up to join Wayra in 2015, in what was early days for us too. We’d yet to develop the three-step scout-select-scale process we use today, but we had the network and experience to help Localistico through their early trial with O2 and then to scale afterwards. Access to all 7 Wayra hubs in 10 countries was a major help, but so was the ‘soft skills’ support we were able to offer the team.

For Localistico, the impact was twofold: they gained a major corporate client, and generated a use case they could present to other corporates, with compelling numbers. Combined with an introduction from us, the result was to be increasing dominance of local search management across Europe.

Demonstrating value with O2

Following their successful O2 trial, Localistico was able to show prospective clients not just what their tool could achieve, but what it had actually done for a major UK corporate with a distributed local presence. Those results included:


Online impressions for stores


Google Search coverage


Client reviews left


Facebook page check-ins and likes

Nearly doubling online impressions for local stores led directly to higher footfall in those stores. Local search is strongly correlated with high intent, and social proof with purchase, so these numbers also reflect climbing revenue. Crucially, increased Facebook page check-ins and likes showed increased long-term engagement with the local manifestations of relevant brands.

The results: Putting the highstreet on the (Google) map

In the eight years since Localistico started working with Wayra, they’ve become the trusted partner for local digital marketing for a list of UK and European corporates that includes:

  • Ginos
  • Jack & Jones
  • Morrisons
  • Nandos
  • Prenatal
  • Real Seguros
  • Spar

As well as leading telecommunications companies including:

  • Telefónica
  • Vodafone
  •  Virgin Media O2

That’s down to numbers like these:

  • +130,000 Review numbers
  • +100% Response rate
  • +50% Searches
  • +84% Direct searches

With Localistico involved, brands with multiple bricks-and-mortar locations get more high-intent traffic and digital engagement. That directly translates to footfall and sales in stores, since:

  • 46% of all Google searches are by people looking for a physical location in their area
  • 88% of people who do a local Google search visit a physical location within one day
  • 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a location within five miles

Corporates can get a granular local search presence for each of their locations. Consumers get the local instance of the national or regional brands they’re looking for. And Localistico goes from success to success. We’re still working with them as they grow and expand their operations, including their 2021 contract with Telefónica.

"Wayra's global network really helped us scale the solution internationally. We started by working with O2 UK, and then Wayra helped us get an intro with O2 Germany and Movistar Spain whom we are now both working with. Recently, we are working with Wayra Latam to expand even more our services in other countries. Wayra was definitely an amazing support at the beginning, but also, it has never stopped facilitating the growth of Localistico."
Ricardo Varela, Founder at Localistico

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