During the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll want to make sure your digital assets — from your website to your social media pages — are up to date — so customers can know they’re getting accurate information when it’s time to head out and stock up on pet supplies.
Some 87% of shoppers conduct an online search before they head out to shop. Now that COVID-19 has brought many changes to daily life, from shelter-in-place orders to maintaining a safe social distance while conducting essential business, it may be near universal. Cover your bases and make the critical details about your pet supply shop front and center.
Take a look at this checklist of things you can do to improve your shop’s digital presence during the COVID-19 crisis, and see if there’s anything you need to add to your to-do list.
Update your landing page
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably doing a lot of things differently at your shop. Make sure these important changes show up on your landing page.
Hours of operation
Like many shops, if you’ve had to change your hours of operation to allow for additional cleaning procedures, make sure this information is front and center. Indicate the store hours are temporary. If you’ve had to halt or limit additional services at the shop, such as pet grooming, include that as well.
Set up and display e-commerce options
In times like these, interest is high in using e-commerce options, so pet parents can stay safely stocked up on pet supplies, either through home delivery or curbside pickup. If that seems daunting, we have the perfect solution for you. Take a look at eTailPet, a service that puts the digital tools in your hands so you can quickly get e-commerce up and running. When you sign up, use the promo code NutriSource – Support Local, and we’ll cover your second month of service. Once you’ve established your e-commerce option, make it easy for your customers to find this information by promoting it on your social channels along with your landing page.
Update your FAQ section
If your shop’s website has an FAQ section, now’s the time to update it. You can include details on your store cleaning practices, social distancing guidelines, new store hours and other pertinent information customers will want to know. Then, you can create a quick post on your Facebook page, and link to it, letting them know you’ve updated this information to help them with their shopping needs during this time.
Check your profiles
If your business has changed its operating hours or is experiencing a temporary closure, as many have to slow the spread of COVID-19, log in to your various online profiles — Facebook, Google, Instagram, Yelp, whatever applies to you — and update that information.
Google is using its AI assistant to reach out to companies to confirm the accuracy of their hours. It’s a good idea to do this yourself manually on your business profile. You can also flag any temporary changes by creating a Google Post. It’s a feature that lets you create content so pet parents know they’re getting up-to-date information about your store when they look you up. Otherwise, your business-as-usual profile may make them wonder.
As the epicenter of your pet community, you probably have a big list of events on your schedule. Unfortunately, when the details change — such as a cancellation or postponement — all too many don’t think to update that information on their online platforms, whether it was listed on Facebook, Google or the store website. If your event is postponed, canceled or rescheduled due to the coronavirus, indicate that on the event immediately. Even if you don’t yet have a new date confirmed, keep everyone in the loop and get into the practice of keeping the status current and up-to-date until you have the final details. When pet parents see that you plan to reschedule at some point, that will give them something to look forward to!
Create video events
As the COVID-19 pandemic has shown, there’s an abundance of creativity when it comes to connecting with people digitally. While people are sheltering in place, host an online event for the pet parents in your community. All you need is your phone camera and an online connection. If you’ve been forced to cancel or postpone events, see if you can create a live online version and start promoting it on your website and social channels. Or you can build a new event, where you offer advice and a quick demonstration, based on a frequently asked pet topic. Or, simply ask your customers to submit their questions, and you’ll answer them in an upcoming video chat. With all the people spending time at home and online, they’ll be glad to see you’re still there for them.
Make newsletter content a focus
If you already have an online newsletter, produce an extra edition. Digital newsletters are an optimal way to connect with your established customers, keep your brand top of mind, and remind them that in a crisis, you are there to meet the needs of their beloved family members. (If you’re new to digital newsletters, check out our guide.) If you’re looking for good topics, remember, people are spending a lot of time at home with their pets these days. Some may be using the extra time to focus on their pet’s leash manners, while others may be looking for fun backyard games to play with their pet. Use your newsletter to connect them with great content to help them get through this.
Be a force of good
As an independent pet supplier, you play a big role in the local pet community. Reach out to your local animal organizations and ask how you can help. Their operations may be curtailed, and their fundraising events called off indefinitely, which presents significant challenges. Whatever they need, call on your pet parent community to contribute. Whether you let pet parents round up their purchase, or let them purchase an extra bag of food, every little bit helps. Of course, do be sensitive to your customers. Some are out of work, others are experiencing health issues that make them more susceptible to the virus and many others are feeling anxious and scared. When you do turn to the pet community to help, deploy empathy in your postings.
Acknowledge those furry faces
If you scroll through your social media feed, you won’t find any shortage of pet postings. Furry faces generate plenty of love, and that’s doubly true on social media. Remember, you’re a community of animal lovers. It’s one thing that unites just about everyone, and that’s especially true during a crisis, and now is the time to celebrate that. Keep sharing those cute photos and respond quickly and enthusiastically when someone tags you in their social postings.
If you’re looking for fun and useful social content to share with pet parents, NutriSource Pet Foods has you covered. Visit NutriSourcePromoMktg.com, set up your free account, and we’ll deliver great, ready-to-publish pet content to your inbox.