Without a doubt, 2020 has been a rough year for everyone. This medical crisis has created an economic one that has hit businesses in all industries, particularly pet retailers. The good news is that your customers are paying close attention to your Google My Business profiles. Therefore, make sure that you are able to capitalize on this attention with a few major updates from Google My Business in 2020.

The Temporarily Closed Feature

One of the biggest updates made to Google My Business is the introduction of a temporarily closed feature. Pet stores in one part of the country might be able to open while others might remain closed. Furthermore, there are some situations where pet stores and veterinary practices might be able to open but they choose to remain closed in order to protect their staff as well as their patients.

The temporarily closed feature on Google My Business allows pet retailers to make a distinction between a store that has gone out of business and a store that is only close to temporarily. Businesses need to take advantage of this feature to let their customers know what is going on and when they might reopen.

A New Post Type for COVID-19

Another major update to Google My Business is the introduction of a new post type that has created specifically for COVID-19. This new post enables pet stores and retailers to post content related to COVID-19. Furthermore, this content to be featured prominently on Google My Business profiles.

The goal of this content is to let your customers know how the pandemic is impacting our business. For example, you might be able to highlight that your location offers and specific products and services related to the pandemic. Remember to delete this content when it is no longer relevant to your services.

New Google My Business Displays and Attributes Are Available

Recently, Google My Business added new attributes for businesses to include services such as no-contact delivery, curbside pickup, and other unique features that keep customers and staff members safe during the pandemic.

These attributes are prominently displayed above the fold. Google even notes their existence with either a checkmark or an X that makes this attribute that much more visible. Therefore, if this attribute applies to your pet store, then is important for you to take advantage of this feature. Make sure that all of these services are accurate as well. If you add or remove certain services as the pandemic goes along, make sure to update your Google My Business profile accordingly.

Google Post Chain Restrictions Removed

In the past, chains (which are business is the more than 10 locations) were not allowed the post automatically for multiple locations. In the wake of the pandemic, Google has removed this restriction. Now, it is possible for everyone to post updates regarding their businesses even if they have multiple locations. This can be used to share information about special events, promotions, and sales with potential customers.

Changes to Local Service Ads

There are new attributes that are available on local ads. This allows businesses to inform their customers regarding how they are going to protect their health and safety when they visit their retail location. This is particularly helpful for pet retailers that are reopening their doors to in-person shoppers for the first time. It is critical for businesses to let their customers know how they are going to keep them safe.

Telehealth Links During COVID-19

For businesses that would like to provide online services, such as Telehealth, they are now able to post links to online care options. That way, individuals are able to receive the care they need without having to visit a health system that is currently facing enough challenges. Businesses should take advantage of this option to try to provide services to people without having to watch their foot traffic increase unnecessarily.

Add Donation Links

It is no secret that businesses have had a hard time during the pandemic. Now, Google is letting businesses post information regarding how individuals can purchase a gift card, make a donation, or otherwise show their support. As the economy continues to struggle to rebound, it is likely that this option will remain. Therefore, pet retailers need to take advantage of this donation length to try to increase the revenue streams and keep the doors open.

The Secondary Hours Feature

Businesses that have had to change their hours of operation during the pandemic have not been able to list secondary hours, such as shopping hours that are reserved for senior citizens. Now, Google has added a way for businesses to publish-secondary hours for those with special needs.

New Safety Maps

Finally, Google has also revised its Google Maps feature to help people find routes that will make their travel safer. For example, this can be used to help people avoid crowds during their commute. Pet retailers need to let their customers know about this feature so that their customers can find them safely.

Rely on NextPaw Software To Help You Take Advantage of Your Google My Business Profile

The year 2020 has been a crazy one, and now more than ever, businesses need to capitalize on every tool to make it to the other side. When you use NextPaw software, you’re able to access all parts of your pet retail business from one dashboard. Take a free personalized tour of how your pet retail business can benefit from NextPaw software.

This content was originally published here.

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