When 2020 started, nobody thought that the world would look like what it is today. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a situation the likes of which have not been seen in more than 100 years. With numerous businesses having been forced to close, this has led to an economic crisis on top of a public health emergency. Pet stores are an essential business, as people cannot get food, water, and medicines for their pets without them. Unfortunately, some people might not know this. Instead, they might be purchasing their pet food from Amazon. How can pet retailers keep their pet stores running during the pandemic?
Update the Business Listing and Information
The first step is to focus on the online presence. After all, most people turn to the internet when they need products and services. Internet traffic has only increased during the pandemic. Start with Google My Business and update the listing there, as this will matter for search results rankings. Then, make sure to get a textable phone number for the business. This allows employees to respond to questions on the go instead of worrying about missing a call.
It is also a good idea to invest in a digital service that ensures the pet retailer has consistent listings on Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more. Consistency matters for search results rankings. There are also services that integrate messages from the textable phone number, social media platforms, the website, and more. When these messages are integrated into one, central location, this makes it easier for the retailer to make sure information doesn’t fall through the cracks.
Treat the Website Like the Primary Storefront
During an era of social distancing, online presence matters. The pet retailer’s website is the primary storefront and this is the first impression people are going to have of the business. Therefore, it is critical to manage the website appropriately. Some of the tips to keep in mind include:
- Make sure the contact information of the company is in large type, front, and center
- Place a large “call to action” button that instructs potential customers on what to do next
- Implement a chat tool that allows customers to interact with the pet retail store instantly
- Optimize the website for local SEO by adding location pages, fostering backlinks, and leveraging keyword research
These are digital services that can turn websites into “smart sites” that constantly update the pet retailer’s website, keeping everything up to date.
Finally, pet retailers need to make sure they sell their products online. Online and mobile sales are poised to pass retail sales and the pandemic has only accelerated this. Invest in digital services that manage the retail store’s product catalog with updated brands and products that are in stock. Then, make sure customers can indicate their preference for local delivery or curbside pickup. Efficient eCommerce is an important part of running a successful pet retail store during COVID-19.