The Downtown Vancouver BIA is always looking for an opportunity to help and support downtown businesses. Therefore, last year the DVBIA decided to join the Grow with Google community and become one of their 7000 partners.
Grow with Google, launched in 2017, is an initiative through which Google partners with libraries, chambers of commerce, downtown associations, small business development centres and other organizations to provide digital literacy workshops and one-on-one coaching.
On October 14th, 2020, DVBIA members had the opportunity to tune in to the “Sell Online This Holiday Season with E-Commerce Tools” livestream. During this session, professional Google trainers discussed the benefits of businesses setting up an online store with Shopify and how to list their products on Google. They also introduced two Google products for small businesses – Google My Business and Google Merchant Center.
Now more than ever, an online presence is crucial for businesses, especially the smaller ones. Customers’ behaviour has changed. Researching online before purchasing a product in-store has become a new normal, and shopping local doesn’t have to mean shopping in-person. Even though you sell your product offline, it’s essential to have at least some online presence for your business. Did you know that the average shopping journey has 140 touch points that influence what people buy and who they buy it from?
Start with creating a free business profile by using Google My Business.
A business profile helps your business to stand out on Google in Search and Maps. Google My Business is an option for businesses that make in-person contact with customers, either at a physical store or in a specified service area. Learn more about Google My Business, here.
If you already have your business profile set up, explore how to make it stand out on Google. Learn how to get the most out of your profile by making it easy for customers to contact you, see what you offer, book appointments, and more. Visit Local Opportunity Finder, here.
If you are a retailer and want to sell your goods online, look into Google Merchant Center. Google Merchant Center is a free tool that helps you to get your store and product info into Google and make it available to shoppers across Google. That means everything about your store and its products are available to customers when searching on a Google property. Learn more about this tool, here.
Grow My Store is another great free tool that can help you to succeed in the online jungle. This tool has been designed for retailers who sell online, in-store, or both. As long as you have a website, it can analyze and assess the website’s customer experience. The report examines a range of factors such as product information, store details, personalization, the shopping experience and website performance. For example, how fast your website loads and mobile-friendliness etc. Click here to receive a personalized report and tips on how to improve your website.
If you missed the one-hour long session or you want to re-watch it, the recording is available here. A guide supporting the presentation and the list of discussed tools and tips can be accessed here.