Holiday Shopping – Tips for Small Businesses
Are you a brick and mortar store with an online presence and are trying to cash in on your customers holiday shopping habits? We’ve got a simple 4 part best practices list that will help get you in front of your consumer!
Update Your Google My Business
A simple and highly effective way to get your business clear and present for holiday shopping season!
If you haven’t already done this, make sure your brick and mortar business has its full location, hours, and details filled out completely today. A complete and verified Google My Business profile is a basic and highly effective tool for local SEO. Free to do, it will let you appear in Google’s local search results map for consumer searches specific to your holiday shopping products and services. Now that more and more of the purchasing population is searching for things of interest “near me” or locally. Even more so since Google has reduced the Map Results to show only 3 business listings, it’s become even more competitive to get your business to show up first!
Even broad queries with large volumes will show local results, which is something small businesses looking to improve their visibility can capitalize on! Capitalize on this and capture the audience that is searching for your product, and you did it all without having to spend any money, through your Google My Business page!
Tighten Up Your Search Advertising – Ask For An Audit
If you’re a small business looking to beat out your competition this holiday shopping season – it’s probably best to consider online advertising on the Google Platform. We know that the vast majority of people search for gifts and product ideas through a Google search, and these micro-moments are when they are ready to buy. If you can capture their search traffic through high quality Inventory Ads that show you have what they are looking for nearby – they’re significantly more likely to tome to your store and you WIN their purchase! Stores who were running Inventory Ads saw a 108% increase in visitor traffic, and 2x increase in offline sales!
Imagine missing out on the sales because you weren’t spotted on a Google search, to a competitor who is actually investing their revenue on increasing their revenue? Not a good feeling right?
Not sure what kind of online advertising is best suited for your business? Request an audit by a Google Partner Agency that will help you identify ways to increase your offline sales through brand lift and awareness. This way you can continue doing what you do best, taking care of them when they come through your doors.
The number one advantage you have advertising and maximizing your visibility on the Google Platform? MEASURABILITY
Consider; you hand out 1000 leaflets to increase your walk in traffic:
How do you know, unequivocally, that your leaflet campaign worked?
How many people came to your store or called because of it?
Can you ask and tally each customer starting point?
What’s the ROI on that campaign?
How many of these leaflets turned into sales?
The answer is you can’t properly measure any of those things without potential errors and omissions. Maximizing your Google presence and using Analytics and Tags to measure with, you can measure these values more completely. Imagine starting to run Google Advertising for your business with a focus on Brand Awareness during this holiday shopping season. Which of the following outcomes is most exciting:
An uptick in in-store sales that occurs alongside your new YouTube Bumper Ads?
An increase in Google searches and inventory visitors along with an increase in in-store sales after you’ve updated your Google My Business page?
Phone call product inquiries and online sales increase after you started running your Google Shopping campaign?
Studies in which users were tracked through their Google linked payment methods and their online behavior found that the consumers who clicked on an advertiser’s Google search ad prior to visiting a store, were over 25% more likely to make a purchase while at the brick and mortar location. Furthermore, those consumers also spent 10% more than the store average consumer.
Optimize For Mobile
The focus on searches for products/services “near me” have grown by 150% over the past two years, faster than any other trend not including location data. By optimizing your Google My Business entry, you can start to show up in those searches in Google’s Local Pack AKA Map of a search, becoming a preferable location for brick-and-mortar shopping. Since last year, Google has shrunk their Local Pack search results from seven to three, even more reason to make sure you’re GMB is up to snuff in order to avoid missing out on the consumer! Especially with holiday shopping around the corner where searches for business hours peak just before Christmas.
Data tells us that consumers, more than ever, are moving seamlessly between their digital and physical worlds. Even if the consumer is shopping in brick-and-mortar locations, their mobile search will often get them to the nearest location. Studies show 76% of people who search on their smartphones for a local product or services “near me” will visit a business within a day. Even more astounding: 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
Don’t forget: Your website needs to be mobile optimized! I know it sounds like an obvious need, but many businesses aren’t prepared for mobile traffic. The majority of searches for any products, services, and businesses begin on mobile. If your website is clunky and unfriendly to the mobile user – how long do you think they’ll spend on it?
Make sure you’re capitalizing on all the easy to do Google My Business opportunities to maximize your consumer experience.
Happy Holiday Shopping!!