2020 has been like no other year. Covid 19 has changed the way consumers shop and how retailers and other companies sell. Hence, the ongoing pandemic has had an enormous impact on local businesses. It has caused a major economic shock and changed consumer behavior. A result of the pandemic is that the transition to online shopping accelerated at a faster speed than ever. Shoppers move between brick and mortar stores and online stores more than ever and consequently expect brands to deliver a seamless customer experience.
The need for businesses to create and deliver an omnichannel experience has become crucial. The Covid-19 has resulted in a hybrid shopping model that combines digital shopping and commerce delivered to local neighborhood stores. Also, about 70% of consumers intend to increase their online shopping even after the local restrictions come to an end. With this in mind, it is evident that the online presence of businesses is more important than ever.
The first thing a potential customer will see when they make a search is Google My Business profile of businesses. In fact, the average business is found in about 1009 searches every month, and of these searches 84% are discovery searches.
Actively managed profiles on Google My Business get 100% more reviews.
In your Google My Business profile, the reviews section is the most important one. Insight for this year is that reviews have played an essential role in building trust when it comes to the businesses’ Covid-19 safety measures. In fact, “67% of consumers say they wouldn’t use a business if reviews said it didn’t have Covid-19 health and safety measures in place”
When looking at the data from our clients, the actively managed profiles experienced a growth of 100% when it comes to client reviews. This means that the number of reviews in their profiles doubled. With this in mind, we cannot stress the importance of reviews on Google enough.
One of the major insights regarding customer review trends of 2020, is that consumers read more online reviews for local business than the previous year, increasing from 81 % to 87 %. It is safe to say that the importance of reviews has continued to grow.
A profile where the business owner answers the reviews and the profile is updated on a regular basis, creates credibility, and increases the chances of getting more reviews for your business. Customers will feel like you are listening to them when they see that you actively reply and care about their opinion. Not to forget, the number of reviews with responses directly affects the local ranking factor.
Credibility & a smooth customer experience
A direct result from our clients is that both the percentage of calls and directions requests increase when a profile is optimized and actively managed. The amount of direction requests increases by about 20 % with an actively managed profile. The clicks to the website, however, decreases. With this in mind, it is evident that the customer gets information without having to enter a website and look for the address, but can instead, through Google My Business, with one click get the information needed. Building a strong online presence, trustworthy online reputation, and customers up to date is more important than ever.
Need help with standing out online and reaching your local customers? We’d love to talk about how we can help you. Whether you’d like to know more or talk about getting started with Mobal, don’t hesitate to contact us.