With rolling business closures still in effect around the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic is far from over. But at the same time, a majority of business locations in the U.S. have been given the green light to reopen in some capacity — and industries that saw major disruption during the pandemic, from gyms to restaurants to retailers, are starting to think about how they can come back in a big way.
A "return to normal" is talked about every day, but unfortunately there isn't a magic date on the calendar we can look forward to. In some parts of the world, a full return might come quickly, while in other places it will be gradual. But the end does appear to be near, so businesses need to start preparing today — or else they might find themselves falling behind the competition.
In an effort to help businesses that have been impacted by COVID get back quickly, we've put together a checklist to keep your customers informed, bring them back to your locations when the time is right — and drive more revenue so that you can emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever.
For all verticals:
Indicate which locations are open With so many storefronts closing (either temporarily or for good), people are checking online before hitting the street.
Update [store/gym/restaurant] hours across platforms (website, GMB, Yelp, etc.) Open and close times have varied sometimes day-to-day, so be sure the information is updated in real-time wherever people might search.
Communicate COVID safety protocols Vaccines are happening, but different people have different expectations. Be sure you communicate the do's and don't's of entering your business.
Start hiring Hiring great people can take weeks, sometimes months. Even if you aren't ready to reopen today, make sure you have a team ready to go when it happens.
For gyms & fitness centers:
Indicate contactless check-in options on Google
Share revised class schedules
Inform customers of specific COVID-related updates (e.g. masks are required while working out; new gym cleaning procedures)
Share revised delivery/takeout hours
Indicate contactless options on Google
Update dine-in options across all locations (including indoor and outdoor seating, etc.)
Update in-store shopping/curbside pickup options
Share cleanliness and in-store sanitary standards
Re-stock most popularly searched items based on store locations
The last year has been met with a lot of uncertainty, and while there's still some volatility today, businesses have a big opportunity in front of them. But reopening successfully isn't about just flipping the closed sign to open — businesses need to put in the work, including ensuring their digital tools, like search, are doing some of the heavy lifting. Not only will it ensure a smoother transition, but importantly it will deliver peace-of-mind to customers. And that means more trust and more business.
Learn more about how to capture and convert traffic post-COVID in our upcoming webinar.