3 ways retailers can help shoppers during the coronavirus outbreak

Emily Eberhard / March 2020

As communities around the world respond to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, we know that this time presents unique challenges for retailers of all sizes and the people they assist. It’s more important than ever to be there for shoppers in the most helpful ways — whether it’s letting your customers know a product is back in stock, providing information on how you’re taking precautions to ensure safety, or sharing an update on how your business and employees are adapting.

3 tips for retailers during the coronavirus outbreak

Newspaper icon: 1. Stay informed. Chat bubble icon: 2. Be current and transparent. Clock icon: 3. Adjust in real time.

Also, find additional resources to manage your product inventory on Merchant Center and your campaigns on Google Ads.

re some retail strategies and recommendations you can apply today to help navigate this dynamic environment.

Stay informed with coronavirus news and search terms

Take the pulse of the current landscape and category demand to understand the needs of your customers. Resources such as Google Trends and Google Alerts can help you stay up to date on local conditions and better understand your customers’ frame of mind.

Review metrics by retail categories to see what customers may be searching for across your Search and Shopping campaigns, especially if you sell high-demand products during this time.

Be current and transparent with your customers

Your customers are looking for information and trust your company to deliver, so make sure you proactively communicate any business or product availability updates.

If your hours of operation have changed, for example, update your customer-facing sites and Business Profile on Google Search and Maps. Use a post in your Business Profile or adjust your messaging in your ads to share information about any extra precautions you’re taking, such as providing any extra services to the community or whether you’re experiencing delays. If your shipping timelines are delayed, update your website to reflect these changes and, if possible, provide an estimated delivery date.

Adjust your product information and communications in real time

As consumer behavior shifts, make sure product information is up to date across all channels and communications to ensure you’re striking the right tone during this time.

Within Google Ads, update your campaigns to represent any changes in your offerings, such as delivery available or buy online, pick up in-store. Enable automatic item updates in the Google Merchant Center to keep your product data up to date, especially for price and availability.

Reassess your creative and ad campaigns by asking yourself, “Is this creative or ad placement right for this moment and in this context?” And consider using these 5 principles for guiding your media teams. Also, find additional resources to manage your product inventory on Merchant Center and your campaigns on Google Ads.

In this challenging time, people are looking to retailers for preparedness. Through the uncertainty, the primary thing people want from retailers is relevant and up-to-date information. Being there in these important moments with useful information will help ensure you’re delivering the assistance your customers need most.

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