Re-opening your retail stores with online messaging.

With the announcement that non-essential businesses are able to reopen their stores from 15th June, brands are taking every measure to make sure they are ready to do so, from both a customer and staff safety perspective and a messaging rollout. It’s crucial during this that the safety of all involved remains at the forefront of activity, and aligning your online messaging to that is a big step to reassuring customers that you’ve taken every precaution possible to encourage a safe shopping experience.

Website Actions

  • Update your COVID-19 landing page – this needs to be a hub of information for your customers and updated accordingly in line with government advice and updates.
  • Update your announcement banner – this is a great, sitewide way to ensure customers know your stores are back open.
  • Update your FAQs – specifically to cover any new store policies, opening hours, appointment slots, delivery, and safety measures, helping give customers all the information they need about returning to your stores as well as giving your customer service teams a location to send users for more information.
  • Update on-page text and metadata for store pages – make it clear that your stores are back open, but that you are operating in accordance with the latest safety measures to reassure customers.
  • If you’re offering “click and collect” or “collect in store” services again, update the appropriate product pages and site metadata accordingly to help users see that, if they don’t want to shop in the store, they can still come in and collect their items instead of waiting for delivery.

Local Listings

Once your website is updated with all of the new information, you should start looking to make that consistent across your local listings to ensure it is accurately displayed in maps and local searches.

  • Google My Business & Bing – update store opening hours and ensure listings are not set to “Closed” or “Temporarily closed so users know you’re back open; this is especially important if opening hours have changed from what they were previously.
  • Google My Business Posts – utilise Posts to provide more information about in-store safety and booking appointments to come in, depending on your store’s policy.
  • Apple Maps – you can update your listing in https://mapsconnect.apple.com/ and tell users on Apple Maps that you are now back open.
  • Waze – update your opening hours to indicate you’re back open.

PPC Actions

To help spread the message further, make sure PPC is ready to be switched back on if you paused or reduced spend while stores were closed.

  • Reactivate local extensions for stores that have reopened.
  • Check whether call extensions should be directed into the stores or a central customer services team for the initial relaunch.
  • Mention stores have reopened in ad messaging.
  • Reactivate local inventory ads.
  • Reactivate store location keywords and update ads with messaging in line with new store policies.
  • Update your callout extensions for reopened stores.
  • Set-up local campaigns to target users across Google channels.

Social Actions

  • Pin post to top of Facebook and Twitter with information on store openings, hours, and safety measures where relevant, and add as a highlighted story to Instagram.
  • Update opening hours on Facebook About section/local pages.
  • Plan for additional social resource to support in the initial launch – this will help ensure queries around hours and safety measures are handled quickly and appropriately.
  • Update auto-response on Facebook messenger with latest store information.
  • Update any relevant ads to include store opening information.
  • Check and reactivate any campaigns optimised for store traffic/local awareness.

Analytics Actions

When it comes to reopening your stores, understanding exactly what actions were taken when is imperative for future reporting.

  • Add annotations for store re-openings – particularly important if different stores are opening at different times.
  • Track people coming to the site through store pages and what they do next.
  • Track informational vs. commercial-intent changes to monitor to changes in user behaviour and see when things start to shift back to ‘more usual’ activity.