With retailers recognising that COVID-19 will have a significant impact on their business, many are having to adapt quickly and think through the longer-term implications of this new, unprecedented landscape. 

Confronting uncertainty and other challenges

For many retailers, digital marketing has become more critical than ever to engage customers online and ensure business continuity. However, beyond transitioning to digital and developing online customer communications, the pandemic has left many businesses forced to consider challenges such as:

  • Uncertainty ecosystem 
  • Shoring up cash reserves  
  • Protecting people 
  • Thinking about longer-term supply challenges

What does the future of my retail business look like?

Although before the outbreak growth in retail sales had already dropped between 2019 and 2020, growth in the retail industry is facing disruption as a consequence of the pandemic.  

Sales revenue of consumer goods in China during coronavirus COVID-19

Despite this decline in growth, there is hope on the horizon. According to Statistica, the retail industry growth rate is expected to return to 4.5% in 2021 and be sustained until at least 2023. 

Forecast for global retail sales growth from 2017 to 2023

What can I do right now?  Keep communicating with your customers

The need for retailers to keep connected with customers is more critical than ever. It’s essential to look at this as an opportunity to adapt and enhance the way we communicate. Here are our suggestions on how retailers can rise to these challenging circumstances and improve marketing communications for both right now, and the long term.

Remember to redirect from physical to eCommerce

Not redirecting your physical location to your online eCommerce store can cost you sales and revenue. Remember to update:

Keep customers up to date about temporary closures

Improve the communication with your customers by showing the most accurate and up to date opening hours information in your:

  • GMB profiles
  • Social media profiles 
  • Store pages

Show how you’ve adapted by updating your attributes

Does your retail store offer delivery or pickup? Improve your Local SEO presence and the accuracy of your GMB profile information by adding new appropriate attributes, such as: 

● Delivery
● Pickup
● Takeout

3 GMB attributes that restaurants can use to battle the COVID-19
Read full article

Create a COVID-19-specific post

Keep customers informed by creating a COVID-19 announcement in GMB.

● Available in all listings
● Text only
● Desktop only

On the other hand, since you might have more time than before during these days, it is a great time to make some optimisations on your local profiles like:

Manage your online reputation 

Now is the perfect opportunity to schedule in some time to conduct a thorough analysis of customer feedback of your different stores/regions and identify improvements.

Update your Q&A and keep on top of customer perception

Now that you’ve analysed customer feedback and are aware of how customers perceive your brand, don’t forget to review the questions in the Q&A section and analyse frequently asked/recurring questions. 

Stay found and ensure your local profiles are SEO optimised

Ensure that your business can be found easily by customers by adding the most searched keywords in your: 

  • Description
  • Tags
  • Pictures

Identify the main action points you should follow to make your Local SEO successful
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Analyse past Local Ads data and identify successes

Have you run a local ads campaign in the past? Now is a great time to review which ads worked best for you, and analyse how this performance can be replicated in the future. Here are some key things to look out for: 

  • Total clicks 
  • CTR 
  • CPC 
  • Total spend

How Localistico can help 

Day-to-day, consumers navigate a vast number of online platforms and updating your information across these manually can be a huge headache and time-sap.

Localistico gives you the ability to update your information in bulk, allowing you to amend all of your locations at once as well as the ability to amend just one in a specific region or area. 

As we are a remote company – we’re business as usual! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask for a free demo.