If you have been paying attention to the news around the 2021 supply chain, you likely know that this holiday season could be seriously impacted by delays and snafus along every part of the chain.
If you are a local business, you might be able to use this situation to your advantage. With big-box retailers struggling to stock their shelves, more people might be looking to shop local when it comes time to check things off Santa’s list.
This is where local SEO can come in to make the difference. By answering just a few key questions and pushing the right buttons on your Google merchant account, you can set yourself up for a great holiday season.
- What’s in Stock?
This is by far the biggest and most important question for consumers in 2021. With stock levels being all over the place and highly unpredictable, making sure you communicate your stock position often and explicitly is paramount.
One of the easiest ways to do this is make sure that your site has an inventory track to warn customers if stock is low or out of stock. If your site doesn’t currently have this, it might be time for an upgrade.
Add your products to both Google’s Merchant Center and your Google My Business Listing. Make sure you keep an eye on them to ensure accuracy so people can shop or virtually window shop with ease.
You will also want to get your staff trained on how to check inventory levels so they can provide great service to customers over the phone, via email, on social media and more.
- How can I get That Item?
Once your customer knows what they want, you should make it as easy as possible to tell them how they can purchase that item. Make sure that your site has the following:
- Clear and concise product pages with robust SEO
- A holiday shopping how to guide
- Shipping options and services page
- Customer satisfaction Q & A page
- An extra holiday services page that talks about gift wrap options
- Section or site-wide banners about sales, offers, important notices and more
One of the most important things to consider is telling customers what the cut off time is for holiday ordering for each fulfillment service. For instance, “order by December 12th for UPS delivery by Christmas” or “Pick up by December 22nd as we are closed for the holidays December 23rd – 26th.” Making these constraints clear will help eliminate customer confusion and help you maintain an excellent level of service.
- Where are you and when are you there?
These are by far the two more important questions for a local business to answer on their website. Most shoppers will Google your business before shopping there so making it easy for them to find both your location and your hours will help you have a more successful holiday season.
- Why Should We Buy From You?
More and more consumers are interested in shopping local instead of buying from big-box retailers. Your website should include a section on why you chose to open in the community and why people should buy from you. How are you different? Why do you love the town? What makes your story unique? Creating a hook and a connection makes each sale feel more personal and can help encourage local community members to purchase gifts for far off friends and family from you.
Local shops have a unique opportunity this holiday season to accelerate their sales. Having a good website loaded with well-executed and locally focused SEO can help move the needle even more. If you are looking to enhance your website before the holiday season, look no further than SimplyBuilt. Contact us about website options today!