As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, businesses that over the last two years may have had to pivot quickly related to lockdowns and orders that limited their in-person operations are facing new challenges – how to operate and communicate when the challenge is not a locally or nationally communicated order, but limitations that the virus may put on their day-to-day staffing:
Some businesses said they have been forced to temporarily shut down because they do not have enough staff to stay open, while others are over-scheduling staff for shifts, just in case anyone gets sick and can’t come in.
Fortunately, many business put systems in place in the last two years that allow them to easily offer curbside food pickup instead of fully staffed wait service, or click-and-collect shopping. But in this newest iteration of the new normal, customers are learning that they need to be even more cognizant of the potential for their local shops and restaurants to be fully or partially closed on any given day. As shown in this chart, searches containing “near me” – which have been constantly growing over the years – reached their highest levels in the last weeks of 2021 as the Omicron variant emerged and confusion over what would, and would not, be open began to reign again.
It’s more important than ever that your business – across all its locations – have the ability to quickly change your days and hours of operation as well as your applicable offerings like dine-in, takeout and delivery, whether those changes are chain-wide or only for specific affected locations. That way, when customers search for you, the correct information will always come up, whether they’re looking at your listings on Google Maps, Apple Maps, or even on social media like Facebook. With an easy-to-use location marketing platform, you get the flexibility to make these changes as often as needed, whether you’re making a decision to limit operating hours across multiple stores or whether a specific location needs to make changes that reflect specific short-term staffing constraints. A consolidated location marketing platform with a user-friendly interface eliminates the need to make changes across multiple sites, simplifying the process at the local level. It can also streamline the process of responding to reviews (for example, giving you the opportunity to respond to any disappointed customer who did, unexpectedly, find your location closed) and make it easy to update your location photos to show precautions taken or how convenient your in-store pickup setup is.
Ready to learn more about location marketing and see how easy it is to get started? Contact us to learn more.