If you were to walk down main street today in most towns in America, you would see shuttered businesses that were forced to close due to COVID-19. These times of great uncertainty have hit the retail sector hard, leading to layoffs, bankruptcies, and debt.
But there are signs of life as businesses pivot and adjust in order to connect with customers and make sales in this strange new time. After all, there are hundreds of millions of customers who want and need to buy — and millions of businesses looking to sell.
Walking down my own main street this weekend in Essex, Connecticut, I saw numerous handwritten signs taped to plate-glass windows and doors of closed businesses:
“Find us online!”
“Buy through our website and we can deliver!”
“Curbside pickup available!”
In these unprecedented times, some businesses are finding success, albeit in new ways. Inventiveness and adaptability have yielded new opportunities.
In the COVID world, businesses are living and dying by their online presence. In turn, every business should be maximizing its website, social media profiles, and other assets to connect with customers and provide up to date information.
Companies running Local Inventory Ads through Google can now let searchers know that the product they seek is available locally and can be picked up curbside.
Here’s what this look likes in search results:
Image from Google
The curbside pickup feature is currently in beta, but you can sign up here — or speak to your account manager if you’ve like to include this feature in your ads.
Be sure to update your Google My Business profile as well
Even if you aren’t using Google Local Delivery Ads, you can still indicate “curbside pickup” as an option in your Google My Business profile. Using this link “you can add or edit attributes to your Business Profile that appear on Search and Maps” according to Google’s press release.
Image from Google
Even as states begin to reopen local economies in the weeks ahead, it is clear that we are not going back to normal in the near future.
Therefore, it is essential that businesses inform customers about their hours, their inventory, their reopening procedure, their purchase options, and any other logistics that are relevant.