7 Tips For Retail Adjustment to COVID19 and Survival

The world as we knew it in early March of 2020 is over. Life will never be the same after the devastating onslaught of the deadly COVID19 pandemic which was and still is ravaging the world. Despite this, the retail sector can rise from the ashes like the phoenix with an adjustment in mindset and a new approach to flexibility and innovation.

The retail sector has been hit particularly hard. Prior to COVID19, retail was starting to get pummeled and feel the pressure from online shopping. Now, the retail sector is facing one of it’s biggest, if not it’s absolute biggest challenges. How to stay alive.

As society begins to slowly recover from COVID19, people are reluctant to come out and mingle. Yes, they want their state governments to reopen the parks, because getting out in fresh air and nature is good for the mind, body and soul. Going shopping in the mall……….. eh, not so much.

Most people see the common sense in social distancing. And in a mall you are not going to get that. In a restaurant you are not going to get that. And who really wants a resurgence of COVID19? Who wants to take that chance? Nobody I know. Better to shop online via e-commerce and let UPS and Fedex and USPS deliver.

Retail Shopping After COVID19

Here are 7 tips for those of you in the retail sector so you can survive and one day prosper again.

1 – Re-purpose your current brick and mortar facility

Depending on what you sell in your physical location, re-purpose your store to become more of a mini manufacturing and shipping facility. If  you are in the food business, you can accommodate some shoppers properly socially distanced. However, that’s not gonna float the boat. Offer take out and delivery, or if you can ship your food product, start taking orders and shipping out. Other types of businesses will need to brainstorm and see if this is a viable means of keeping your ship afloat. If you can ship out or take local orders and deliver your products, give it a whirl.

2 – Close your brick and mortar facility

There is no shame in doing so. If you cannot make your shop become financially sustainable, shut the doors before the whole operation starts sucking the life out of you. However, no matter what you sell in your store, you absolutely MUST consider step 3. It ain’t over yet.

3 – Re-purpose your retail brick and mortar business into an online business

This will, down the road, save your business. There is some time, effort and planning involved, but well worth it. Don’t sit on this option too long. Make it happen.

4 – Consider your online options

Depending on your product, price point and ability to ship economically, you have many good online options. Your own e-commerce website, Etsy (handmade, vintage or supplies), eBay and Amazon. Don’t jump into any one option without careful consideration. They are NOT one size fits all.

5 – Build your empire slowly one venue at a time

I have so many new clients who have jumped into this option without advice and consultation and found themselves neck deep in waters they don’t understand how to navigate. Easy does it folks. You don’t want to drown.

6 – Build your brand

Nothing is more important than for you to build your brand. What does that mean exactly? Establish a memorable logo and tagline, and even if you need to trademark your identity, do it. Figure out who you are, how you want to attract customers, and express that in a consistently memorable way across your venues and throughout social media.

7 – Build your influence and your customer base

As you grow, you’ll be building your influence and customer base. As you do this, you can move on to the next phase of another venue to sell on. Start small, get a foothold and then you can move on to play with the big boys in their playground.

What is the new future for the retail industry during and post COVID19?

Online. E-commerce. Period end of story. Either your online endeavors will accompany your brick and mortar efforts and help you float the boat, or, your online endeavors will open up a whole new world order for your empire.

ecommerce

You will need a trusted advisor to help you set all of this up. Someone who is an expert in their field. Expert doesn’t mean top dollar it means top quality and top of the line knowledge. You get what you pay for.

We are in business for 20 years. Navigated many of our clients through the crash of 2008. Very few decided to throw in the towel.

Here is how Maureen McCullough LLC can help you:

  • E-commerce website design – easy for your customers to find what they want, pay for it, and leave testimonials and reviews
  • Website maintenance for enhanced security and to “keep it fresh”
  • Customized Etsy shop design
  • Customized eBay store layouts
  • Establishing your brand – one of the most critical ingredients in your plan for success
  • Highly optimized SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your website, Etsy shop, eBay store, or Amazon listings
  • Ongoing optimized SEO tweaking – an absolute necessity in an ever changing, highly competitive fluid environment
  • Product descriptions and product titles – this is a science unto itself, if you want to rise through the ranks, for best visibility
  • Email marketing campaigns to reinforce your brand
  • Social media marketing – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
  • Listing in a trusted Shop Local Directory for maximum exposure
  • Personalized consulting targeted for your business, your targeted audience, and your business goals
  • Longtime experience as an Etsy, eBay, Amazon and WordPress expert

Contact us today to learn one on one how we can help you and your retail business to not only survive COVID19 but prosper!

Call or text us at 201.753.1677

Contact us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NJdesignseomarketing/

Contact us on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/maureen-mccullough-llc-marketing/

 

How to Handle Your Google My Business Listing Suspension

It’s happening more and more often. As we mentioned in an earlier blog article, Google My Business listings are able to be edited by anyone, from competitors who want nothing better than to take you down, to malicious SEO and marketing companies who want you out of the way so they can build up the positioning of their own clients on Google.

Parts of your Google My Business listing at most risk are your business name and / or address, phone number, hours, categories and website address. That can kill your business in a New York heartbeat.

When someone decides to edit your Google My Business listing, they click on Suggest an Edit. They have a choice of change name or other details such as name, location, hours, etc.
They also have a second, far scarier option. They have the option to “remove this place”. They can choose to mark your business as closed, nonexistent, or duplicate.

This will effectively be a nail in your coffin as your listing most likely will be suspended and could even be removed.

True non-compliance, which you may be honestly unknowing about that will get your Google My Business listing suspended are:

A) You are using a vanity url that forwards to your actual website. This is fine! BUT…… don’t use that vanity url in your GMB listing. Always use the actual website url in your GMB listing.

B) Your business name must be listed the same way it is on your business certificate from your state. Don’t inflate it with keywords hoping that you’ll get found faster. Instead of getting found faster, you’ll disappear because you got suspended.

C) Don’t hide your address.

D) Don’t create multiple listings for your business. If you run more than one “business” out of your house, make the listing for the one that is actually the business, such as your LLC. The other enterprises you run are actually divisions of the LLC.

E) Your business type is of sensitive nature. Better to check with us to see if your business is allowed on GMB.

F) No virtual office locations or mailboxes. Sometimes people do this to rank in multiple towns and counties. That’s what good quality landing pages on your website are for. Not your GMB listing.

G) You run an online business. Not a problem, just be sure to always have your business certificate available to show Google. The business name and address on the business certificate from your state MUST match the information on your GMB listing. Or else.

H) It is entirely possible you actually did nothing wrong and got suspended anyway. It does happen. Your industry may be one that gets spammed alot and the spam filter kicked you off.

The Google My Business reinstatement process is not guaranteed once you have been suspended. It generally takes a long time and a bit of back and forth with Google to become reinstated. And again, there are no guarantees.

GMB listings need to be checked daily. Business owners who are actually running their businesses don’t have time, generally won’t remember, and may not know what to do if some information has been altered by third parties claiming to be contributing an edit. Or worse yet, check in and find their listing has been suspended!

Then the business owner freaks out. Totally expected.

Our service monitors your GMB listing every day. We monitor for suggested changes, and of course for the dreaded suspension. If you get suspended we do not do what many website companies do, which is create another listing!! That just compounds the problem and the reinstatement, if it’s going to happen, just takes longer to happen.

We have a 100% reinstatement record. We understand what Google wants, and doesn’t want. Google will never tell you why you were suspended, playing the safe side that you were scamming the system so why should they help you get better at scamming? We get it. Our service knows what questions to ask, what to look for, and how to work with Google to fix the harm done.

Give us a call or text today at 201.753.1677 if your Google My Business listing has been compromised or suspended. We’ll help you get things back up and running.