It’s been said a lot, but it’s true, 2020 was a year like no other. While 2020 was challenging, it was remarkable to see how local businesses pivoted in order to survive the effects of the pandemic in 2021. We witnessed this inventiveness beginning in March, and we’re now seeing businesses thinking outside of the box once again as the pandemic continues and restrictions continue to change. A new year is an opportunity to advance your business and increase online rankings with SEO. Click for FREE SEO Analysis to get your 2021 started right. Here are some of the creative business strategies we’ve noticed in Longmont. These inventive strategies have allowed businesses to continue to be available to their clients’ changing needs.
Restaurants/Breweries Offer New Options
The pandemic hit restaurants hard when things shut down in March 2020. Over the summer, many Longmont restaurants expanded outdoor seating and started offering takeout and delivery options (including alcohol). Thankfully, some restaurants even offered family-style takeout meals so folks could take a night off from cooking. Now that that winter is here, restaurants pivoted once again to overcome challenges like reduced indoor seating capacity, less foot traffic and fewer people wanting to dine outside. Restaurants have added outdoor tents and heating lamps so customers can be more comfortable for outdoor dining.
Local breweries have also added new sales strategies like offering crowler, growler and other beer/cider pickups, expanding food offerings and including free delivery. Creative ideas like virtual beer tours and tastings have increased sales as well. Search volume numbers show that more people are searching for takeout more than ever. It’s a good time to ensure your site is optimized so customers can find you, and a free SEO analysis can get you on track!
Local Businesses Get Creative
Local businesses continue to demonstrate their agility as well. They offer take-home craft projects, anti-social runs with raffle prizes via email, online cooking classes (some with alcohol pairings) and Zoom knitting classes (with kits that you grab from the store). It’s inspiring to see businesses implement creative ideas to keep their current customers (and reach new ones). Other stores started offering online ordering with curbside pickup or delivery to make up for lost sales. Like restaurants, less foot traffic means fewer customers and sales when stores need them most.
The pandemic increased online shopping. For example, 54 percent of holiday shoppers bought online in 2019, according to Retail Dive. About 77% of US shoppers reported they’d browse for holiday gift ideas online in 2020, according to a Google survey. This means that your site is your storefront now, so it’s crucial to review your site and update ASAP if necessary.
If you don’t offer online shopping, you should strongly consider it. At the very least, include detailed information about the products and services you offer. You want to ensure that your business’ name, address and phone number is consistent, your products and services are listed on site and that your site works correctly. It’s also time to look at your website from the customer’s point of view by asking yourself:
- Can customers easily tell from your homepage what your business offers?
- Is your site easy to navigate?
- How does your site look on a mobile device or tablet?
- Is the checkout process easy?
- Can customers contact you easily?
- Offer gift cards online if you sell them.
Please consider shopping local as much as possible. For every $100 you spend locally, $68 will stay in your community, according to the BBB. Now more than ever, local businesses need support.
This is a great time to support the local restaurants, businesses and breweries that you adore! The pandemic has been tough for many, and our community businesses need our support now more than ever. Your support can be free. Here are some simple ways to offer support:
- Sharing a local business on social media
- Leave a positive review
- Tell your friends and family
- Follow local businesses on social media and engage in posts
- Sign up for their newsletter
Another aspect you can use to boost sales….SEO so you can reach more customers. Please reach out if you’d like some SEO help or have any SEO questions. As a local Colorado business, we want to help our community as much as we can!