What happened to the world?
Businesses were active, the competition was increasing. Block-chain was the new cool. Cryptocurrency, AI, electric cars, SpaceX, international trade relations, and newer social media platforms were in the limelight. New fashion and beauty trends were emerging.
All of a sudden, the entire focus shifted towards a disaster no one saw coming. The outbreak of COVID-19 resulted in lockdowns, social distancing, and remote work around the world. Digital bookings were a safe alternative to shopping.
As Covid-19 hit the world, grocery stores witnessed a lot of chaos. People set out to buy as many supplies as they could store.
Everyone planned on hoarding necessities and locking themselves up in their houses. It was as if everyone was preparing for an apocalypse.
After this spike came a sudden drop in the sales for almost all local businesses. Most economic activities came to a halt. Many businesses slowed down and shrunk for survival.
One of the major effects of this pandemic on local businesses was that they saw a drastic change in consumer behaviour. There was little to no foot traffic.
All of this meant fewer customers, a drop in sales, and a smaller amount of revenue. However, this didn’t mean people stopped buying.
The lockdowns and the risk of Coronavirus caused a shift in shopping trends. People switched to online booking mobile apps and websites.
Businesses that were quick to adapt and meet the demand through digital bookings continued to survive and thrive after a short period of economic halt.
Many local businesses struggled to make profits despite offering online booking and delivery services. They had a hard time attracting nearby customers, and connecting with their community over the internet, all the while people struggled to find relevant sellers online.
Let’s bear in mind that the safest choice of a vendor to buy from through digital bookings was the nearest one.
And the community was in dire need of smarter algorithms to present them with the most relevant, safest, and nearest options.
While making and launching an entire app on short notice is near to impossible, there were still measures and steps that could meet the current needs until a reliable app came out. And that’s where Google stepped in.
Googling anything and everything is second nature to people. Most of the world’s population instinctively open Google to find anything they’re looking for.
This only means that during this pandemic, when people are looking for goods to buy or digital bookings to make, the first thing they do is to search for it on Google. And it is upon Google to show them the best options.
Knowing this, Google created a section for people to find baked goods and flour to buy on delivery within 8 miles of distance. This helped local businesses connect with their communities.
Google updated the “Google My Business Entry” to align with this new feature. This one step enabled people to find the safest and nearest options to buy from.
Perks of which are faster delivery, lower fuel cost, more profit, and of course, safety! Being visible to the nearest customers is exceptionally beneficial to the businesses, and convenient to the customers.
To top it off, the analytics feature of Google for businesses helps them make their advertising and online presence more and more specific.
When a visitor uses an online booking mobile app or comes to a local business’s website, the business can check what brought the visitor there, and which pages or sites they came from.
This not only helps them make their keyword strategy more relevant, but also gives them insights on user intent, or what they’re usually looking for when typing a certain search term. That’s a sure-fire way to find and tap into the right markets.
The world was moving at a fast pace with a lot of trends emerging, prepared to enter the third decade of the twenty-first century when the Coronavirus pandemic brought it to a halt.
Amid the chaos and isolation, local businesses suffered a massive drop in sales due to lack of foot traffic, and online visibility. Google stepped in and introduced a feature to help customers find local businesses within an 8-mile radius of their location. This helped local businesses find and reach nearby customers.